In many ways, it’s just a throwback to America’s earliest days. A grand total of 12 former presidents are rumored among advocates to have smoked marijuana in some form at some point. One of the greatest presidential potheads, John F. Kennedy, reportedly smoked marijuana while occupying the White House, although he managed to keep it under wraps.
Some even believe that our nation’s great savior, Abraham Lincoln wrote, “Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe of sweet hemp, and playing my Hohner harmonica.”
But somewhere between Lincoln and Lyndon (Johnson, that is) recreational drug use became a mark of bad character unfit for a president.
Yet when it comes to presidential campaigns and elections today, drug use isn’t nearly as taboo a subject as it used to be. That’s true for candidates as well as for the campaign workers themselves. As one veteran of the campaign trail told The Daily Caller, “Snoop Dogg would have enjoyed some of the campaigns I’ve been on.”
Since the fateful day in 1992, when presidential candidate Bill Clinton’s admission of drug use in the past (“I never inhaled”) created a media firestorm, the American political landscape has seen a desensitization of prior drug use by presidential candidates.
Clinton’s successor, George W. Bush, experienced his minor drug scandal while in office. In 2005, tapes were leaked of conversations between Bush and a friend, Don Wead, during the early stages of the 2000 campaign.
In the tapes, Wead mentioned Bush’s denial of cocaine use, to which Bush replied with “I haven’t denied anything.”
Then, Bush talked about his strategy to refuse to answer media questions about past drug use. “I wouldn’t answer the marijuana questions. You know why? Because I don’t want some little kid doing what I tried.”
Obama is a different story. In 2006, after hinting at a presidential run, then-Senator Obama freely and openly admitted to drug use during his college years. “When I was a kid, I inhaled. That was point,” Obama said at the time.
And in his 1995 book, “Dreams from my Father,” Obama wrote about using marijuana and “maybe a little blow”.
Categories: Health, Lifestyle, Marijuana Tags: Abraham Lincoln, American Political Landscape, Bad Character, Campaign Workers, Campaigns And Elections, Candidate Bill Clinton, Cocaine Use, Desensitization, Drug Scandal, Former Presidents, Friend Don, Front Porch, George W Bush, Hohner Harmonica, Media Questions, Potheads, Presidential Campaigns, Presidential Politics, Smoked Marijuana, Wead
It doesn’t seem accurate to say that any of really voted for him based solely on his promise to change marijuana policy, or that most of America thinks that should be one of his top priorities. Still it’s important for the pot community to not let the marijuana movement loose any momentum. Obama you can’t leave us hanging we’re dying out here. Some of more literally than others.
SFWeekly – That familiar odor wafting from San Francisco street corners, storefronts, and the neighborhood growhouse? It’s the smell of legality. Medical cannabis is the law of the land in California, 14 other states, and the District of Columbia. Yet, as many marijuana users will tell you, protection under state law hasn’t guaranteed protection under federal law at all.
It was more obvious under the George W. Bush administration, which pledged to “ignore” state medical marijuana laws and go after marijuana users. For eight years, the federal government “subverted” the will of the states, according to the ACLU, and in the process ignored the Constitution’s guarantees of state sovereignty, as many a pot user has tried to argue in court.
So when Barack Obama’s new administration delivered a message on medical marijuana in February 2009, it was heard loud and clear: The federal government was getting out of the business of busting pot in California and other states where voters had approved medicinal application of the plant. Obama the candidate promised as much during the campaign, and now the new attorney general, Eric Holder, had made it so by issuing guidelines protecting those following state law. Federal policy on medical marijuana had changed.
For that campaign promise — and for pledges to end the Iraq war and reform health care — Obama won many votes from San Franciscans, including people like the 30 medical cannabis users gathered at a former brothel on Mission Street on a recent evening. The low- and no-income folk who constitute the patient advocacy and activist network Axis of Love cannot use their Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits to buy their preferred tonic — federal law makes it thus — and so they must rely on the charity of a few San Francisco cannabis dispensaries for their medicine. Pot and meals are dispensed daily, free of charge, under the supervision of activist Shona Gochenaur. “Obama got a ton of votes from our community,” she says, “for the many campaign promises he made that things would change.”
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Categories: Health, Lifestyle, Marijuana Tags: Article Excerpt, Barack Obama, Blowing Smoke, Campaign Promise, Eric Holder, George W Bush, Land In California, Marijuana Movement, Marijuana Policy, Marijuana Users, Medical Cannabis, Medical Marijuana Laws, New Administration, Pot User, Reform Health Care, San Franciscans, State Sovereignty, Storefronts, Street Corners, Top Priorities