Puff, Puff, POTUS: A Historical Look at Presidents and Marijuana Use

Politics is a serious business, but even some of the most stoic leaders have indulged in moments of repose. After all, everyone needs to blow off some steam sometimes — even heads of state. Let’s take a break from the weighty matters of the world and explore the hazy history of presidents who’ve gone dancing with Mary Jane. Grab that bag of chips, get cozy, and join us on a romp through presidential history; marijuana-style.

George Washington’s Hemp Endeavors: Exploring the First President’s Connection to Marijuana

George Washington, the OG of American presidents, wasn’t just about cherry trees and crossing the Delaware. Turns out he had a whole other side hustle going on. In his diary, he dropped gems like, “Sowed hemp at muddy hole by swamp.” According to the Mount Vernon estate, the hemp ol’ Washy grew was used solely for rope and other industrial applications. But we have to ask, was that really all it was for?

Thomas Jefferson and the Roots of Marijuana in American Agriculture

Then there was the Founding Father who was ahead of his time – Thomas Jefferson. This guy wasn’t just drafting the Declaration of Independence; he was also cultivating hemp like a baddie. He was so into hemp, he even smuggled hemp seeds from China. While there’s no solid evidence that he was rolling up fat joints on the side, his fondness for hemp suggests he might have been more chill than we thought. Maybe Jefferson was even brewing hemp tea or creating herbal remedies.

John F. Kennedy’s Secret Relief: The Role of Marijuana in a President’s Health

Ah, JFK – the personification of style and elegance. But did you know that Camelot might have had a little sticky green in its gardens? Turns out JFK wasn’t just dealing with the Cuban missile crisis; he was also struggling with some serious back pain. According to the book John F. Kennedy: A Biography, rumor has it that JFK smoked a few doobs with his mistress, journalist Mary Meyer. He didn’t feel the first three hits, but by the fourth he remarked, “Imagine if the Russians pulled something now.”  Who knew under all the sophistication was the heart of a stoner?

Bill Clinton’s Infamous Denial: Navigating the Waters of Presidents and Marijuana

Next up, we’ve got Bill Clinton. Remember when he famously claimed he “didn’t inhale”? Classic. Whether you believe him or not, you’ve got to admire his crack at straddling the line between “I’m cool and hip” and “I’m presidential.” Hey, we’ve all got to find our own way to navigate those tricky questions about past indiscretions, right? According to biographer Christopher Hitchens, Clinton had a thing for pot brownies, so whether or not he actually inhaled might be irrelevant.

George W. Bush and Cannabis Confessions: A Closer Look at Presidents and Marijuana

Next up is George W. Bush – the cowboy president with a rumored taste for the green stuff.  According to J.H. Hatfield, author of the book Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President, Bush was arrested in 1972 for cocaine possession. But weed? We’re not too sure. While he’s been tight-lipped about his alleged pot-smoking days, gossip from his college years suggest he might have taken a trip to the groovy side. Sometimes you’ve just got to let loose and embrace your inner stoner, even if you’re destined for the White House. He later told his biographer, Douglas Wead (yup, pronounced like “weed”), “I steered clear of the marijuana questions. You know why? Because I don’t want some little kid following in my footsteps.”

Barack Obama’s Candid Marijuana Tales: Reflecting on Presidents and Their Cannabis Encounters

Now, let’s talk about the first POTUS to actually admit he liked to toke; Barack Obama. Before he was dropping mic moments left and right, he was dropping something else – joints.  On the campaign trail in 2008 he famously said, “When I was a kid, I inhaled frequently. That was the point.”  In his memoir, Dreams of My Father, the former president straight-up admits to getting baked during his younger years in Hawaii. In fact, Obama’s group of pot-smoking friends even had a name for themselves; the “Choom Gang”. Legend has it that Barry was so committed to the mission that he turned smoking into a competitive sport. According to David Maraniss, who wrote the book, Barack Obama: The Story, if you couldn’t hold your exhale with the Choom Gang, you’d get slapped with a penalty and sidelined for the next round. It’s like he turned passing the joint into a high-stakes game, where one false move could leave you watching from the sidelines. Now that’s taking “puff, puff, pass” to a whole new level.

And there you have it – a whimsical look at presidents and their encounters with cannabis. Whether they were rolling in the green or just rolling their eyes at the thought, these leaders remind us that even in the highest office in the land, a little bit of fun goes a long way. So, here’s to presidents past, present, and future – may they always keep it mellow and stay groovy, man. May the presidential puff puff pass continue!

Don’t miss our latest blog on ‘Highs Over Hangovers: Reshaping Social Norms‘ for more insights into how contemporary culture is shifting away from alcohol towards more cannabis-friendly social settings. Plus, explore our piece on ‘THC-infused drinks compared to the craft beer wave‘ to understand the rising popularity of cannabis beverages in today’s market.

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