Ezekiel Elliott says he didn't think he was doing anything wrong by visiting a recreational weed shop in Seattle before the Seahawks game last week ... but says it was ultimately a "bad decision."
TMZ Sports broke the story ... the 21-year-old rookie running back hit up Herban Legends -- which LEGALLY sells weed for recreational purposes to people 21 and older.
"It was a bad decision," Elliott said (via Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram) ... "Just seen it walking around. Was curious."
"I didn't really think about it before I went in, what the repercussions could have been. It wasn't like I was trying to hide it or anything."
"I took pictures with people. It wasn't like I was up to no good."
As we reported, Elliott did not purchase anything or smoke anything while inside the shop.
Still, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was pissed -- calling the visit "not good."
Elliott says he apologized to Cowboys management -- and claims he's learned a valuable lesson.
"You definitely got to think of the perception of things before you actually do certain things ... It may not seem like it's a big deal to you yourself but there is a bigger picture."