April 20, 2011

The Desensitization of Drug Use in Presidential Politics

In the 21st century, it’s okay if a president smoked pot and did drugs prior to becoming the leader of the free world.

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”.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/04/20/the-desensitization-of-drug-use-in-presidential-politics/

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