"About 20 years ago before I was married, I did take drugs", he told the Daily Mail, adding it happened "on several occasions at social events".
"It was 20 years ago and yes, it was a mistake".
"I think the important thing, that people want from politicians, is that they're straight", he said. 'But I don't believe that past mistakes disqualify you'.
"Cressida Dick, the head of the Met Police, said people like yourself who have used cocaine on such occasions - middle-class buyers - have blood on their hands". He told the BBC he admired Gove's honesty.
Mr Raab said he had taken cannabis as a student but had "never taken cocaine or any class A drugs".
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But other MPs pushed for Mr Gove to campaign for reform and the potential decriminalisation of some drugs.
Gove reportedly discloses how he was warned he must help deliver Brexit in order to avoid being remembered as a "stooge" of Cameron, who appeared to regard him as a "court jester".
"The point that I made in the article is that if any of us lapse sometimes from standards that we uphold, that is human". The Tory leadership candidate says the United Kingdom could replace it with a "lower, simpler sales tax" once we have left the EU. "It should be to reflect on the lapse and to seek to do better in the future".
The leader of the party, which won the most seats at the last general election in 2017, automatically becomes prime minister. She remains prime minister and is leading the government in a caretaker capacity until her successor is chosen.
When asked if he had declared his drug use on his Esta form for entry into the United States, under the visa waiver scheme, he replied: "I don't believe that I have ever, on any occasion, failed to tell the truth about this when asked directly".
When asked whether he felt that this admission should affect his chances of becoming leader of the Tories, Gove said: "It was 20 years ago and yes, it was a mistake".