LOS ANGELES (AP) _ O.J. Simpson says that without the money to pay for a ``dream team'' of lawyers, he would not have been acquitted of murder charges.

In an interview with Playboy magazine nine years after his trial, Simpson repeatedly vowed he was innocent of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman.

``I didn't commit the crime. That is why I got off,'' he said. ``I feel in my heart that I got off because I was innocent. But I don't know if I could have proven my innocence if I didn't have the money. And that's a shame. Yes, it is a shame that in this country it costs so much to get good representation.''

In the wide-ranging interview published in the current issue of the magazine, Simpson also disclosed that after his acquittal he smoked marijuana in order to get to sleep.

``My drug of choice now is Vioxx,'' said Simpson, who suffers from arthritis. ``When I got out of jail, I kind of appreciated pot more than I ever had in my life.''

Simpson was acquitted of murder charges in the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife and Goldman. A civil jury later held Simpson liable for the killings and ordered him to pay the victims' survivors $33.5 million.