Turns out young Barack Obama was a fairly frequent weed smoker, according to a forthcoming biography by David Maraniss:

A self-selected group of boys at Punahou School who loved basketball and good times called themselves the Choom Gang. Choom is a verb, meaning “to smoke marijuana.”

[…]

Barry also had a knack for interceptions. When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted “Intercepted!,” and took an extra hit. No one seemed to mind.

This shouldn’t and won’t bear on Obama’s reelection prospects, which seems about right. But we shouldn’t ignore it, particularly given the president’s recent campaign against medical marijuana in states that have legalized it. It’s past time that public officials who have smoked weed acknowledge that youthful marijuana use doesn’t consign individuals to a life of crime and addiction, and that current policy is at odds with that basic fact. 

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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