John McCain

Palin and the Pot Question

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Here is Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain's vice presidential pick, on drugs:

Palin doesn't support legalizing marijuana, worrying about the message it would send to her four kids. But when it comes to cracking down on drugs, she says methamphetamines are the greater threat and should have a higher priority.

Palin said she has smoked marijuana—remember, it was legal under state law, she said, even if illegal under U.S. law—but says she didn't like it and doesn't smoke it now.

"I can't claim a Bill Clinton and say that I never inhaled."

This was a year ago, when Palin was challenging then-Gov. Frank Murkowski for the Republican nomination. Although her child-centric defense of prohibition is standard stuff, her pot smoking admission is indeed a step up from Clinton's. (The former president, you may recall, not only claimed he didn't inhale when he tried marijuana at Oxford but initially obfuscated by saying he had never broken the drug laws of this country.) Palin's "I smoked it but didn't enjoy it" scores a bit lower on the candor meter than Barack Obama's "I smoked it and liked it but now regret it." (And neither is as encouraging as "I smoked it and liked it and still do" or "I never smoked it, but I don't think people should be arrested for it.") But compared to Murkowski, an anti-pot alarmist who pushed through a bill that purported to recriminalize private possession of marijuana, Palin sounds enlightened. Because the Alaska Supreme Court ruled in 1975 that the state constitution's privacy clause bars the government from punishing people for possessing small quantities of marijuana in the home for personal use, the courts so far have rejected Murkowski's recriminalization law (which was based on the premise that today's pot is much more dangerous than the marijuana available in the '70s). So Palin could continue to smoke pot in the privacy of her home without fear of arrest, barring a federal raid on the governor's residence. It's a good thing for McCain, who can't even tolerate the idea of marijuana as a medicine for desperately ill people, that she never really liked it.

In February I suggested what Obama should have learned from his youthful drug use.

NEXT: Girl Trouble

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  1. …and not quite as encouraging as “I am always high.”

  2. I wonder what foreign leaders are thinking right now? Putin would like to visit Camp David with the VP, please. What election?

  3. Out of curiosity, why does the privacy clause allow for smoking marijuana, but not other drugs?

  4. To this day, Clinton’s “never inhaled” remark makes me smile. Because I only smoked once in my life. A Marlboro nicked from my dad when I was about 15. And I didn’t inhale. I didn’t realize you were supposed to inhale smoke. I mean, who would do such a stupid thing, right? That’s what I would have thought at the time had someone actually said that was the way it was supposed to be done.

    Stupid kids.

  5. And neither is as encouraging as…

    Actually, I’m not a politician, smoked it a few times, and never really liked it. I don’t particularly think that alone is a negative, nor discouraging, as I’m pretty admamantly against all the silliness involved in chasing down pot.

  6. Yeah, I don’t care what my politicians did or didn’t do, I care about what they will punish me for doing. I haven’t smoked it because I doubt I’d like it, but I’m all for legalizing it.

  7. I like marijuana. So what! I imagine if I was ever stupid enough to actually try heroin, I’d like that, too.

    What a person likes is not the test of what they’d do about other people doing it when they have the reins of power. She may not be the same amount of drug war psychopath as Biden, but she sure ain’t on the right side of the fence.

  8. Palin’s “I smoked it but didn’t enjoy it” scores a bit lower on the candor meter than Barack Obama’s “I smoked it and liked it but now regret it.”

    I disagree. “I smoked it but didn’t enjoy it” is quite believable; I tried several times but never found it that interesting. OTOH, to have liked something and then regretted it is just stupid and therefore not credible.

  9. why does the privacy clause allow for smoking marijuana, but not other drugs?

    It may be that nobody ever got to the appeals level in AK for any other drugs. However, ostensibly it’s one of those balancing tests — whether the danger of the drug outweighs the privacy.

  10. It should not even be up for discussion! Marijuana is a dangerous, addictive drug! I support nothing but the most draconian punishment for users and dealers! Unless you’re McCain’s wife. Then it’s okay.

  11. Granted that Palin’s position on marijuana is the single most important thing to consider, why did McCain pick her? I think maybe Cindy’s libido is declining and McCain wants some younger stuff on hand.

  12. I “smoked it but didn’t enjoy it” a few times myself. Switched to coke. Good stuff.

  13. Chalk me up as another non-politician who doesn’t like pot. It’s kind of gasoline- smells great but don’t like the taste or the feeling it induces. It’s not so bad that I absolutely refuse it, and if people are passing around a joint I’ll take a hit. But that’s just to be sociable. So I don’t see the connection between “candor” and not liking pot. Lots of people don’t like pot, just like many don’t like cigarettes. Now if it had been cocaine, that would be a different story. I can’t imagine anybody not liking cocaine.

  14. I absolutely love, love, love it, but it makes me amotivational so I don’t.

  15. I don’t like cocaine. But, if someone’s offering I will be sociable…

  16. wow…glad you’re cutting right to the most important issue in the campaign…whether someone likes pot or not. well at least this thread has silenced the “wow she’s hot!” comments for a while. what a bunch of infantile idiots.

  17. Palin’s “I smoked it but didn’t enjoy it” scores a bit lower on the candor meter

    Dunno, she may be lying, but it’s a big cognitive leap to assert that as an incontrovertible fact. I used to enjoy smoking dope, but after a while it made me feel all paranoid and stupid. It just wasn’t as much fun anymore, so I quit.

    She’s obviously not toeing the libertarian line on this — legalize all drugs now — her bad on that. But she’s pushing the envelope on what a Republican can do and still be electable, even in libertarian-leaning Alaska, so maybe she could soften McCain on his drug warrior BS if things go badly and one of the major party candidates wins the election.

    /attempt at humor

  18. Dave W-

    It works both ways for me. Okay, Elemenope, with all sorts of degrees, shades, gradations and nuances in between.

  19. Dunno, she may be lying, but it’s a big cognitive leap to assert that as an incontrovertible fact. I used to enjoy smoking dope, but after a while it made me feel all paranoid and stupid. It just wasn’t as much fun anymore, so I quit.

    OK, that strikes me as totally credible. The shine will wear of anything once the novelty wears off. And after continued use, the effect just isn’t the same. That’s true for any drug. But I’m highly skeptical of anyone claiming they got high and didn’t like it.

    I can see two ways that could be true. If what you smoked was very low grade pot. It won’t get you very high and it can give you a headache. Or if you’re someone with a lot to hide. Marijuana will definitely turn up the volume on any latent paranoia you’re carrying around.

  20. aha — ! The Palin pick is clearly a concession to the Paulites… maybe she’s a mole for Ron Paul — So when McCain croaks, Palin picks Paul for Veep! It’s all been part of the vast, elaborate plan from the beginning! viva la rEVOLution!

    Palin… Plugs… Paul
    Back in February, on Super Tuesday, MTV News Street Teamer Dani Carlson did a Flixwagon interview with Alaska Governor – and now presumptive Republican vice-presidential candidate – Sarah Palin, who had some interesting things to say about energy policy and the “party machinery.”

    In this interview, Palin calls controversial Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul “cool.” “He’s a good guy,” she added. “He’s so independent. He’s independent of the party machine. I’m like, ‘Right on, so am I.’ ”

  21. Warren,

    Sadly, I have never gotten stoned with Palin. Considering her assets, that is my loss. Maybe she loves the stuff and is lying. But, it is a lot more believable that she got bad pot and didn’t like it than it would be if she claimed she didn’t inhale.

  22. I’ve smoked what I am fairly certain was “good” pot on more than one occassion and never cared for it either. Bring on the alcohol.

    Perhaps it’s just my German + Irish + asthmatic genetic makeup.

  23. Now if it had been cocaine, that would be a different story. I can’t imagine anybody not liking cocaine.

    Heh. Exactly. I hadn’t seen your comment when I posted this on another thread:

    “Now, if she’s said she snorted a line once and didn’t like it I’d have to call total bullshit.”

  24. More evidence of the Palin-Paul conspiracy unfolding…

    Subject: I love it
    An e-mail:
    As a Ron Paul supporter and committed Paul delegate candidate, I have been on the fence as for whom to cast my vote. I don’t care for McCain’s past on taxes; I fear an Obama presidency and Dem congress; and I don’t particularly want to vote Barr even though I agree with him more than McC and O. This pick will likely result in my vote for R ticket. The only better choice in my opinion would have been Kasich. I’m just one vote, but I like this choice.

  25. LOL, I got a feeling she lights up a big fat one every single night before she goes to bed! So two faced! LOL

    Whistler
    http://www.datools.echoz.com/

  26. Or if you’re someone with a lot to hide. Marijuana will definitely turn up the volume on any latent paranoia you’re carrying around.

    Uh, whatcha hiden there, Warren? 😉

  27. a step up from Clinton’s. (The former president, you may recall, not only claimed he didn’t inhale when he tried marijuana at Oxford but initially obfuscated by saying he had never broken the drug laws of this country.)

    Ever notice how Billy is getting so looks and acts more and more like an aging Eddie Haskel? 😉

  28. It would have more encouraging if she answered “I’m high RIGHT NOW!”

    Or perhaps…
    “I smoked it. I inhaled. It made me horny as all hell”

  29. Local Alaskan tv report nails Palin lying about firing scandal. What was McCain thinking?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UojMnCgqVA

  30. “Now, if she’s said she snorted a line once and didn’t like it I’d have to call total bullshit.”

    Someday I’d like to see an accurate and reasonable anti-drug ad. Something along the lines of:

    “Don’t do drugs. They make you feel fantastic and you shouldn’t trust ANYTHING that makes you feel like that.”

  31. “Don’t do drugs. They make you feel fantastic and you shouldn’t trust ANYTHING that makes you feel like that.”

    Yeah, but then the religionists would get all pissed off. You know, they might take it all personal.

  32. In my youth I used both, but would have climbed over a hill of both for a bottle of rum.

    I now know why God created pot and coke. So the Democrats’ party can have members.

  33. “Absolutely, I . . . wait, I forgot the question.”

    “Not any more. I get a much better high from raw political power than I do from pot.”

    “Of course, how could I have acted so silly on TV if I wasn’t high?” (Sorry, that was *Michael* Palin’s answer)

    “I’m exploring those issues in a joint committee of the legislature.”

    “Like President Bush says, let’s roll!”

  34. “to have liked something and then regretted it is just stupid and therefore not credible.”

    That’s stupid. How about a person who cheats on his wife? The fucking was great but now he regrets doing it.

    There are several reasons why Obama might hold that something he enjoyed when young is something he wished he had not done that are not so stupid as to be incredible.

  35. I’ve smoked what I am fairly certain was “good” pot on more than one occassion and never cared for it either. Bring on the alcohol.

    Exactly. We’ve felt the “high” from cannabis, good & enough in quality & quantity, noted it, found it lacking vs. the fun feeling from liquor. I like being in a crowd of smokers, though, because it seems to bring them to the level where I already am — which may be why I don’t appreciate pot.

    4-butyrolactone, now that matches or beats booze. Mixed with water, it even tastes like bourbon.

  36. to have liked something and then regretted it is just stupid and therefore not credible.

    How about a person who cheats on his wife? The fucking was great but now he regrets doing it.

    Now that you mention it, there is a class of things about which someone would say that — things they were caught doing. The only reason to regret it is the knowledge that others have of it.

  37. OMG, I thought this was going to be about the POT Calling the Kettle Black… you know how team Obama will claim Palin doesn’t have “experience” when Obama doesn’t have “experience”…
    If you are speaking of drugs Obama has done CoCain and according to his book he was a BIG TIME ADDICT! Pot in a state it is legal… big woop!

  38. McCain does not know anything about the Economy, where Iraq, Iran, Pakistan or Afghanistan are in relation to each other, how many houses he owns, the different between the Shiites and Sunnis or anything else the man is clueless and so for removed from the lives of normal American citizens that they may as well live in Mexico for all he knows!

    What is Amazing is how anyone can be an Senator for so many years and know so little, about so much!

    McCain has made an Senate career out of being an POW 40 years ago. Without accomplishing anything of note in all years as an Senator except costing American tax payers Billions in the Keating 5 scandal, and co-sponsoring Amnesty with the Socialist, Drunk and Killer Ed Kennedy for the loyal Mexicans citizens sent by Mexico to Colonize American! To add insult to injury he then thought Americans were stupid enough to believe him when he tried to deceive them by saying it was not Amnesty or he was not rewarding them for invading the US and committing numerous felonies! To show the agree that dementia has ravished McCain he even wanted to reward gang members like MS-13 with citizenship that work with & for the Mexican drug cartel and are some of the most vicious gang members in the world! McCain has shown much more loyally to Mexico and his Invading Criminals than to American and its Citizens that have obeyed the laws, paid the taxes, fought the wars and built this Nation. He constantly appears before the racist hate organization La Raza (The Race) that is dedicated to the reconquest of American Southwest, the colonization of the USA by the invading horde from Mexico and promises them anything, as he begs for their votes!

    McCain would rather lose an Nation than an Hispanic vote!

    McCain’s Hispanic Outreach person Juan Hernandez was a Cabinet member in Mexico’s Vicente Fox’s government and VP of the racist hate organization La Raza (The Race) & is openly for the colonization of American & Reconquest of the American Southwest!.

    Some of his comments.

    “We have recognized that the Mexican population is 100 million in Mexico and 23 million who live in the United States?We are a united nation.”

    Mexican immigrants “are going to keep one foot in Mexico and are not going to assimilate.”

    Mexico’s total economic policy is to send their Criminals and Uneducated peons to the US for Tax payers to support as they cost tax payers Billions sucking at the trough of public Welfare & for their free Medical & Schooling, while Killing, Robbing and Raping Americans citizens by the 10,s of thousands, for Businesses to Exploit and Profits from, and Corrupt Politicians to Pander and Cuddle for votes, while ignoring our Constitution against Invasion, the Rule of Law & their Oath of Office!

    Apparently McCain agrees with his adviser about the Reconquest of the Southwest and the Colonization of American, or he would support our Constitution against Invasion, the Rule of Law, and Honor his Oath of Office, instead of rewarding the Invading horde with Amnesty!

    McCain is too Stupid to be an Senator, too Stupid to be President and too Treasonous to be an American! My Friends.

    Sadly, McCain is an ex-hero and now American traitor like Benedict Arnold!

  39. “Now that you mention it, there is a class of things about which someone would say that — things they were caught doing.”

    You can’t imagine regreting cheating on a spouse unless you were caught? Man, I thought I was an immoralist…

  40. This election will be won by Barrack if Hillary’s supporters can forgive and forget Barrack collective giving Her and them the finger and if Bitter Whites that cling to Guns, Religion, Love of American and believe in our Constitution against Invasion and the rule of Law can be convinced by Barrack that the largest invasion in world history, of any country, at any time, by any means and that is taking their jobs and lowering their standard of living while killing, robbing and raping American citizens by the 10,s of thousands and slowly but surely changing American into an Spanish speaking third world cesspool of Crime, Corruption, Poverty and Misery modeled on Mexico, is a good thing for them and American.

    Why he and most Democrats Believe that Article IV Section IV of our Constitution against invasion, enforcement of our Immigration Laws and their Oath of office are all null and void!

    He will need to convince them that attending the church of hate, supporting and listening to Hate American, Hate Whites and hate everything but Blacks and Muslims for 20 years while hanging out with criminals, terrorist and racist is no big deal and no harm intended!

  41. Now that you mention it, there is a class of things about which someone would say that — things they were caught doing. The only reason to regret it is the knowledge that others have of it.

    You kidding? If you cheated on your wife and it produced a kid you didn’t want, you might regret it; if you caught an incurable STD, you might also regret it.

  42. If you cheated on your wife and it produced a kid you didn’t want, you might regret it; if you caught an incurable STD, you might also regret it.

    Sure, and you could get hit by a car on your way home too, on a street you’d never have been on otherwise. But that’s not the same thing as regretting the act itself.

  43. You can’t imagine regreting cheating on a spouse unless you were caught? Man, I thought I was an immoralist…

    No, I just believe all value is in people’s heads. The only way she’d be hurt would be by knowing about it. If she never found out, she wouldn’t be hurt.

  44. But that’s not the same thing as regretting the act itself.

    Nor is regretting that one got caught.

  45. Anybody who had actually seen the interview where Bill Clinton talked about “I didn’t inhale” would see the twinkle in his eye and the laughter, he was obviously joking. And if you see pics of him from the sixties, he looks like a real stoner dude.
    my two cents

  46. “Mexico’s total economic policy is to send their Criminals and Uneducated peons to the US for Tax payers to support as they cost tax payers Billions sucking at the trough of public Welfare & for their free Medical & Schooling, while Killing, Robbing and Raping Americans citizens by the 10,s of thousands, for Businesses to Exploit and Profits from, and Corrupt Politicians to Pander and Cuddle for votes, while ignoring our Constitution against Invasion, the Rule of Law & their Oath of Office!”

    I think we should worry more about a politician who will “cuddle” for votes than about pot smoking. Of course I think you meant “coddle”. Judging by the amount of basic errors you make and the lack of clarity in your remarks, I wonder why we should listen to your diatribe about McCain’s stupidity. You have made a speech intended to point out McCain’s stupidity that does no more than point to your own.

  47. Robert Goodman wrote:
    No, I just believe all value is in people’s heads. The only way she’d be hurt would be by knowing about it. If she never found out, she wouldn’t be hurt.

    Normal people who care about each other often come to deeply regret acts of dishonesty, regardless of whether the other person finds out and gets hurt.

  48. My ethics are based on whether someone gets hurt. No harm (without consent), no foul. All my ethical opinions are subject to that test. I don’t see how libertarian I could be otherwise.

  49. Does anyone but me find some hypocrisy on McCain/Palin’s side on this?

    I mean, she claims to have smoked pot, but hastens to add it was legal in AK, so that somehow makes it okay.

    Question for McCain: Do you plan on continuing the policy of the Bush administration of raiding medicinal marijuana growers and dispensers in CA even though it is legal in CA?

    If you are willing to accept this excuse from you VP why not from Californians? Why shouldn’t her life be as ruined as the lives that are being ruined by the law-abiders in CA?

    Just asking.

  50. Oh, and smoked, snorted, popped, dropped, and drank a number of different drugs. Liked some, some not so much, and others not at all.

    Don’t do any anymore, they all have their costs and I am not willing to pay them anymore. But that is my choice.

    I guess with two presidents with a known history of drug use, and two members of the two POTUS tickets having admitted to drugs, I’d loveto see a grown up discussion of drugs in American. Maybe next millennium.

  51. Because the Alaska Supreme Court ruled in 1975 that the state constitution’s privacy clause bars the government from punishing people for possessing small quantities of marijuana in the home for personal use

    A shame the SCOTUS still hasn’t been able to grasp this blindingly obvious reasoning.

    The government has no right to dictate what we as free and fully-informed citizens decide to ingest on our own time in our own homes. It’s sickening that something so obvious even has to be argued.

    Some people don’t like marijuana (especially a lot of type As), so I’ll accept that at face value. I’m just glad we’ve got someone in the running who has seen that legalization doesn’t bring hellfire and brimstone raining down.

  52. I am wondering if Sara Palins pot smoking contributed to the birth of her child with down syndrome? When did she stop smoking it?

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