New book chronicles Obama's pot use as high school student in Hawaii

Party Rooster

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New book details Obama’s fondness for weed while a Hawaiian high school student

Lee-Anne Goodman, The Canadian Press
Fri May 25 2012

WASHINGTON — Barack Obama inhaled. Frequently, happily and allegedly quite greedily.

Various websites published excerpts on Friday from an upcoming book on the U.S. president containing fresh details about his enthusiasm for marijuana as a young man, adding a bit of levity to a close and increasingly nasty presidential race.

“Barry also had a knack for interceptions,” according to just one anecdote in David Maraniss’ Barack Obama: The Story, slated for release in mid-June.

“When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted ‘Intercepted!’ and took an extra hit.”

When he attended Punahoa prep school in Honolulu in the ’70s, Obama was also at the forefront of ensuring he and his high school pals — known as the Choom Gang, with choom a Hawaiian slang verb for smoking weed — got the most bang for their buck.

“Barry popularized the concept of ‘roof hits,’ ” Maraniss writes.

“When they were chooming in the car, all the windows had to be rolled up so no smoke blew out and went to waste; when the pot was gone, they tilted their heads back and sucked in the last bit of smoke from the ceiling.”

The revelations were met with glee in the Twitterverse and beyond.

Buzzfeed entitled its post on the revelations A User’s Guide to Smoking Pot with Barack Obama, while a Twitter wag joked that the Republicans now had potential ammunition in hand.

“If GOP was pro-pot legalization, they could run against President ‘Bogart’ Obama; it’s a real character issue,” tweeted Michael Roston, the home page producer at the New York Times’ website.

Bogarting is a term that means hogging joints.

In a country where increasing numbers of Americans think weed should be legalized, few believe the revelations will hurt Obama just six months before the presidential election, even though it’s doubtful Mitt Romney, the buttoned-down Republican front-runner, has ever taken a bong hit.

“I don’t think these stories are going to move anyone on this issue, one way or another,” Ethan Nadelmann, the executive director of the pro-legalization Drug Policy Alliance, said in an interview Friday.

“Part of what made him appealing to young people four years ago was his frankness on marijuana, and his joking around when asked if he inhaled by saying: ‘Wasn’t that the point?’ It made him seem a bit more hip, someone young Americans could connect to.”

A Rasmussen poll released earlier this week found that 56 per cent of Americans believe it’s time to decriminalize pot and regulate it like alcohol and cigarettes. A poll by Gallup last fall suggested a similar trend, with Americans favouring legalization far out-numbering those opposed.

“The Rasmussen poll was a stunning result; it was definitely encouraging,” said Nadelmann.

That’s why Obama’s lack of action in terms of legalizing marijuana has been such a disappointment, he added.

The Obama administration has launched a multi-agency crackdown on cannabis that has included more than 100 raids, mostly on California medical marijuana dispensaries, despite the fact that many of them were operating in full compliance with state laws.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Obama denied his administration’s actions were at odds with his position when running for president, when he vowed not to use Justice Department resources to circumvent state laws on medical marijuana.

“What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana,” Obama told Rolling Stone.

“I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana — and the reason is, because it’s against federal law . . . . I can’t nullify congressional law.”

Nadelmann called those remarks “lame and disingenuous.”

“He has been either silent or problematic on marijuana,” he added. “And when you see the polls, whatever political calculation he’s making is either naive or unprincipled.”

Unlike Bill Clinton, who admitted to smoking weed while running for president, but famously denied inhaling, Obama has always been open about the fact that he toked in high school and college.

He even wrote about smoking pot in his memoir, Dreams of My Father, but didn’t go into the type of detail alleged in the Maraniss book.

A choice excerpt details the penalties meted out by the Choom Gang by anyone who exhaled too soon.

“When you were with Barry and his pals, if you exhaled precious pakalolo (Hawaiian slang for marijuana, meaning ‘numbing tobacco’) instead of absorbing it fully into your lungs, you were assessed a penalty and your turn was skipped the next time the joint came around,” Maraniss writes.

“Wasting good bud smoke was not tolerated,” explained one member of the Choom Gang.

http://www.therecord.com/news/world...for-weed-while-a-hawaiian-high-school-student
:cool3:
 

Begbie

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People see this as a flaw...I really don't. So the POTUS liked pot a REAL FUCKIN LOT when he was young...who cares? At least he didn't bully some gay kid...that would just be the worst. :icon_cool
 

Lord Zero

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People see this as a flaw...I really don't. So the POTUS liked pot a REAL FUCKIN LOT when he was young...who cares?
It matters when you look at how his administration treats the idea of legal marijuana and, even worse, it's outright bullying of the legal dispensaries.
 

Begbie

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It matters when you look at how his administration treats the idea of legal marijuana and, even worse, it's outright bullying of the legal dispensaries.
Still, there are things I did and believed in high school that I don't now. I know its Obama and he's a pandering, flip-flopping scumbag, but it's just not a big deal to me.
 

Ballbuster1

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#6
Most presidents these days have dabbled in pot or
some other thing in college or whatever when younger.
I don't see it as a problem unless they are still doing it.

Just be honest about it and move on.
I hate liars more than just about anything else.
 

Party Rooster

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Most presidents these days have dabbled in pot or
some other thing in college or whatever when younger.
I don't see it as a problem unless they are still doing it.

Just be honest about it and move on.
I hate liars more than just about anything else.
This. If you grew up in the 60's, 70's, or even the 80's, you most likely experimented with at least pot. I would imagine even Romney has tried it too.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

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#8
I wouldn't be surprised if Obama pulls a 180 of marijuana legalization before November. Maybe this book is testing the waters, so to speak.
 

DJ Evel Ed

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I like Penn's take on the issue. He's totals tea...

[video=youtube;wWWOJGYZYpk]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wWWOJGYZYpk[/video]
 

Party Rooster

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#10
I wouldn't be surprised if Obama pulls a 180 of marijuana legalization before November. Maybe this book is testing the waters, so to speak.
It's funny, when a book like this comes out about a republican, everyone dismisses it as gossip, but no one seems to even question the motives behind this one.
 

lajikal

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I wouldn't be surprised if Obama pulls a 180 of marijuana legalization before November. Maybe this book is testing the waters, so to speak.
Are you fuckin retarded? If anything, he'll just incenuate that he'll try to get congress to consider related bills and the idea of legalization only if he were to get american drones' to vote for him again.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

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#12
Are you fuckin retarded? If anything, he'll just incenuate that he'll try to get congress to consider related bills and the idea of legalization only if he were to get american drones' to vote for him again.
Wouldn't that be a 180 from his current position "whaa"
 

lajikal

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#13
Wouldn't that be a 180 from his current position "whaa"
Not that, even that he's been playing it safe in reality. But that you wouldn't be surprised if he would actually do anything. And with old shit for brains like napolitano and biden on his side, not one fuckin degree will change.

Almost forgot, the great obama appointed eric holder.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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Hypocrisy is harmless until you start ruining other peoples' lives. I wonder how much the prison industry movers and shakers have donated to Dear Leader's war chest.
 
Apr 30, 2011
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#16
This will be another one of those moments where a chance for a good debate on decriminalizing or at least lightening up on the REAL medical marijuana use will be wasted. Here we have a guy that apparently was more than a casual user and look how he turned out OK.

Its interesting how many people who have no interest in using the drug themselves come out in defense of it. The problem with pot is how it just fuels real criminal activity. Then we waste piles of cash fighting it back while militarizing our local police forces. It would be interesting if that resource wasnt available to small or big time criminals how much less of a threat they might be. Just dont see heroin or other hard drugs making them that much cash.
 
Apr 30, 2011
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#18
What is great about the Penn rant is the timing of it coming out before the news of this book.
 

Lord Zero

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#19
Still, there are things I did and believed in high school that I don't now. I know its Obama and he's a pandering, flip-flopping scumbag, but it's just not a big deal to me.
I won't let this issue go that easily. He didn't just change his mind about pot. He still dismisses his pot use as a simple and harmless youthful mistake (which it is if you can even call it a mistake) while simultaneously putting people away for hard time for the same mistake and preventing others from giving pot to dying people to ease their suffering IN STATES WHERE SUCH PRACTICES ARE LEGAL. That's a few levels beyond simple hypocrisy.
 
Apr 30, 2011
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#20
I won't let this issue go that easily. He didn't just change his mind about pot. He still dismisses his pot use as a simple and harmless youthful mistake (which it is if you can even call it a mistake) while simultaneously putting people away for hard time for the same mistake and preventing others from giving pot to dying people to ease their suffering IN STATES WHERE SUCH PRACTICES ARE LEGAL. That's a few levels beyond simple hypocrisy.
Not to take Obama off the hook but don't you think the feds and other agencies do this irrelevant of what the sitting presidents stand might be. The majority of the employees that work at this, much like the guys that are involved in hunting down Bin Laden types will continue to do their work as another president gets elected.

All things considered the president is going to limit his exposure and focus on things that might be more important to him politically like green, healthcare etc... Telling the DEA to lighten up on drug crackdowns is probably just not a good political move. This is why campaign promises suck, you cant/wont deliver on a lot of these issues.
 

Lord Zero

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#21
Not to take Obama off the hook but don't you think the feds and other agencies do this irrelevant of what the sitting presidents stand might be.
Of course, but Obama is in a position to either stop them or encourage them. He's the one who appointed Eric Holder in the first place and he could easily fire him and explain the reasons why to Congress. After Fast and Furious, I don't think they'd take Obama to task for doing it (other than question why he didn't do it earlier).

Telling the DEA to lighten up on drug crackdowns is probably just not a good political move.
He's there to uphold the law, not do what's best for his campaign.
 
Apr 30, 2011
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#22
He's there to uphold the law, not do what's best for his campaign.
Yea but but thats the problem with elected politicians they do whatever makes them electable, especially Obama. Why would he take a stand on something that might backfire. Meanwhile nothing of any importance gets fixed.
 

Lord Zero

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#23
Yea but but thats the problem with elected politicians they do whatever makes them electable, especially Obama. Why would he take a stand on something that might backfire. Meanwhile nothing of any importance gets fixed.
Removing Eric Holder from his post would actually make Obama more electable.
 

Neon

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#24
Penn makes a brilliant point about the enforcement of drug use having worse repercussions on your life than the actual drug use. When I was living in Boston, MA decriminalized pot possession under 1 ounce. It was on a ballot and passed by a wide margin, and the argument was that prosecuting for that stuff just fucks up students and workers and actually contributes to making less productive members of society (an arrest for pot possession will cause you to lose student loans, for example). Plenty of my college professors at the time voted for the decriminalization even though they weren't pot people themselves. I thought the campaign to get it decriminalized was very well done for this exact reason. I think it is simply a more effective angle than the classic libertarian "you shouldn't police my body" thing.
 

Lord Zero

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#25
Penn makes a brilliant point about the enforcement of drug use having worse repercussions on your life than the actual drug use. When I was living in Boston, MA decriminalized pot possession under 1 ounce. It was on a ballot and passed by a wide margin, and the argument was that prosecuting for that stuff just fucks up students and workers and actually contributes to making less productive members of society (an arrest for pot possession will cause you to lose student loans, for example). Plenty of my college professors at the time voted for the decriminalization even though they weren't pot people themselves. I thought the campaign to get it decriminalized was very well done for this exact reason. I think it is simply a more effective angle than the classic libertarian "you shouldn't police my body" thing.
The libertarian argument is the one that has the issue broken down to it's most basic level.