Drug War

TV Cook Nigella Lawson Barred from U.S. for Admitting She Did Cocaine; Barack Obama Still President


Plumptious TV cook Nigella Lawson was unceremoniously booted from a flight to the U.S. this week. Why? The Daily Mail (which is, let's be clear, not the most reliable of news sources) is reporting that the domestic goddess was denied a seat on a plane because of her admission during an unrelated court case in the U.K. last year that she had done cocaine seven times and smoked some weed.

Technically, U.S. law declares foreigners who have committed drug offenses "inadmissible" to the country, even if—as in Lawson's case—they never faced any legal proceedings at home or abroad.

Lawson isn't the first person to be barred at the border for old, otherwise unremarkable drug confessions. But getting back into the U.S. will be time-consuming and/or expensive for the host of the American food game show, The Taste.

A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security told the Daily Mail

In general, an alien found inadmissible will need a waiver of inadmissibility….Depending on the basis of their refusal they may be eligible to apply in advance of travel for a temporary waiver of inadmissibility. The waiver application process can be lengthy.

Saima / photo on flickr

Lawson's take on her drug use at the time seems quite sensible:

While insisting she had never been an addict or habitual user of drugs, she confirmed she had taken cocaine. 

She said she needed the drugs to cope with the death of her first husband, John Diamond, and the 'intimate terrorism' of her second, [Charles] Saatchi.

The TV cook also described how she 'smoked the odd joint' of cannabis in the last year of her marriage to Mr Saatchi to make 'an intolerable situation tolerable'.

But she maintained that she was now drug-free, telling the jury: 'I did not and do not have a drug problem, I had a life problem. I decided to address that.'


It also sounds pretty familiar

I had grown tired of trying to untangle a mess that wasn't of my making. I had learned not to care. I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years. Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though….

Junkie. Pothead. That's where I'd be headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man. Except the highs hadn't been about that, me trying to prove what a down brother I was. Not by then anyway. I got just the opposite effect, something that could push questions of who I was out of my mind, something that could flatten out the landscape of my heart, blur the edges of my memory.

Only slightly related: You should really bake Nigella's chocolate Guinness cake.

NEXT: U.S. Funds Tweets to Undermine Cuban Government, Rob Ford Crack Investigation Ends, Maryland Pot Decriminalization Blocked: P.M. Links

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. what does it mean to be a “would-be” black man? Like, he was almost black but didn’t quite make it?

    1. He didn’t count as a black man until he joined The Party?

    2. The charitable explanation is that he’s saying he would have been a permanent adolescent, never becoming a man. Or perhaps that too many young black men get into drugs as a foolish way of attempting to prove their manhood. I think that’s what he’s trying to say, but it sounds awkward.

    3. Not to defend him, but the quote is “young would-be black man”. The “young” and “would-be” are redundant. Like an aspiring would-be .

      Like, because he was young he wasn’t quite a man.

      To adhere to my initial clause, there are plenty of black men to whom BarryO is still a child, relatively.

  2. Nigella? That’s just wrong. The president should pardon her for her non-charged non-offense.

    1. How about we just ban our prez from the country and adopt Nigella to replace him? At least we can enjoy looking at her and she can’t be worse than him on policy.

      1. If they ever bring back ‘Quantum Leap’, they should write an episode where Sam leaps back to the early 80’s to make sure Obama gets busted for dealing coke. Thereby saving the world 30 years later.

    2. They truly have gone too far now.


  3. Hell of a country we’ve made for ourselves.

  4. What the fuck? You have to wonder about what fucking asshole bureaucrat decided that they should go poring over UK court records and jotting down every person who admitted ever using cocaine so they can deny them the right to get on an airplane.

    One has to wonder if they specifically recruit people who are petty and spiteful and then assign them tasks like this. “Go see how many people you can fuck over for trivial reasons!”

    1. What the fuck? You have to wonder about what fucking asshole bureaucrat decided that they should go poring over UK court records and jotting down every person who admitted ever using cocaine so they can deny them the right to get on an airplane.

      There’s probably an added thrill when the person you’ve denied entry to is a celebrity. I imagine that gives you bragging rights around the office.

    2. Nothing left to cut.

    3. They do recruit people like that. They are called ‘progressives’.

  5. And yet Keith Richards lives in New York.

    1. Next to Richard Quest I presume.

  6. You know, that Guinness chocolate cake would be so much better with a lil bit of weed and bacon.

    1. Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  7. See, Vatican City is more socially tolerant that the U.S. – it let in an admitted coke-snorting pot-smoker!

  8. And yet Paul McCartney, who was busted for weed in Japan and Barbados, appears at the Whitehouse.

    1. Yeah, but we kept Ray Davies out for a long time.

      /Jesse Walker

  9. Also, you should really bake her chocolate Guinness cake.

    Oh no. Now I want cake too!

    1. I wonder if this would work in it instead of the Guinness…

  10. Sucks for her. But high profile cases like this might actually be a good thing. The more people who see how stupid our drug laws are, the more likely they are to change.

  11. Thanks for posting that excerpt from Dreams from My Father, Katherine.

    I had been toying with trying once more to read it, and now I don’t have to.

  12. How did Rob Ford get to LA?

  13. . . . maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though

    I always thought blow and smack were the same . . .

    1. You must have grown up watching the wrong cop shows on TV.

      1. You must have grown up watching the wrong cop shows on TV.

        I came of age during the Miami Vice heydey. Plus, I was attending high school in Los Angeles at the time, which means my knowledge of drugs should’ve been encyclopedic. Of course, I was also scared shitless to smoke weed, so maybe I wasn’t as hip to the scene as I thought I was.

        1. As odd as this may sound, there is a Hardy Boys book that, among other things, explained all of the drug slang:

          The book is composed of several didactic short fictional stories illustrating various actual crime detection methods featuring the Hardy Boys and their friends. Although some of the material is dated, the book remains a useful primer on topics such as basic forensics techniques, including the examination of fingerprints and shoe prints at crime scenes, as well as a brief introduction to the basic properties of various illegal drugs.

          1. The Hardy Boys Detective Handbook is my favorite of the whole series.

            Which reminds me that the most handled and read books by boys in my elementary school library were the works of C. B. Colby. They had large photo illustrations of weapons with elementary grade-level text explaining what they were.

            I assume FBI: The G-Mens’ Weapons and Tactics For Combat

            Six-shooter: Pistols, Revolvers, And Automatics, Past And Present

            Two centuries of weapons, 1776-1976

            Jets of the World: New Fighters, Bombers and Transports

            Fighter Parade: Headliners in Fighter Plane History

            First Rifle How to Shoot It Straight and Use It Safe

            Musket to M-14 Pistols, Rifles and Machine Guns are all readily available in elementary school libraries today? I’m sure the American Library Association would have raised a huge stink if the most popular boys’ non-fiction titles were banned.

            1. Yes, I suspect much of what I used to read as a kid isn’t as readily available in school libraries as it was then. I’m sure we had gun stuff, for instance.

  14. THAT TEARS IT! There’s no threat worth the price of turning Nigella Lawson away like some toothless crackwhore! By god, no red-blooded American could possibly hear of this and not demand the immediate dissolution of the DHS.

    Also, yeah, wtf, Barry???

  15. I thought I had heard that Saatchi was pretty well connected and bent on making her life hell. Wonder if that is why she was really booted.

  16. Is it just me, or is it becoming increasingly embarrassing to be an American?

    Returning from a trip to London a few years back, I was embarrassed at how airline passengers were treated at Atlanta airport. Treated like cattle at best, etc. Not by the airlines, but by Customs……..

    1. Saw this earlier


      1. I’ve been encouraging foreign vacationers to spend their money somewhere other than the USA for over ten years now.

    2. No, it’s not just you, the answer is yes.

    3. A few years back in the corral returning from Portugal to the US, I had a giggling fit because I wanted to shout “Welcome to the land of the Free!”

      But I didn’t, because I didn’t want to get detained.

  17. Would

  18. Only slightly related: You should really bake Nigella’s chocolate Guinness cake.

    Well, there you go! Half the ingredients are stated in “grams”! It’s obvious she would be a threat to “THE CHILDREN”!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. She’s totally hot. A hot woman who can cook? What’s not to like about that?

    1. Two words: Good. Taste. Put them in any order you like…….

  20. It is simply incomprehensible that a non vetted, unaccomplished, self confessed former drug user who may not even be a citizen of this country could be installed in the most important job (president) of our country with nary a peep out of so-called republicans in congress. He is a puppet of the world elite by way of Valerie Jarrett, his controller. The country has become a fascist image of third world countries and New World Order (world government)governing is fast approaching with no tangible resistance from those who should be on top of it. He was NOT elected but installed with MASSIVE FRAUD, and collusion by the two party system, the courts and state governments. Totalitarian governments around the world must be envious at what has been accomplished here.

  21. She just needs to suck up to Obama like Andrew Sullivan and she’ll be good.

  22. so, are we going to talk about how hot Nigella Lawson was before she lost the weight?

    Uggghh, PERFECT thick girl figure. Drives me nuts. Why did she have to lose all that weight? Who the hell asked her to?

    1. Nigella is always hot.

    2. She still looks good, but, man, she was a brick house in the day.

  23. Can’t anyone admit to taking drugs for the fun of it?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.