As the Mayor of Toronto admits to having smoked “a lot” of marijuana, here’s a list of the 10 best and worst admissions of drug use from our statesmen and women. Who’s done it, who’s regretted it, and who’s let the odd joint or two cloud their political career.
Obviously we’ve got to start with Clinton, the epitome of making a hash-up (‘scuse the pun) of the drugs confessional. Cast your mind back to 1992, when we were all mostly babes in arms, and Clinton was having to fess up to smoking weed in that land of bohemians, England, “a time or two”. He “didn’t like it, didn’t inhale, and didn’t try it again”. Go figure.
One up on Clinton, Obama openly admits to inhaling cannabis, after all “That was the point”. One further, Obama used his foray into recreational drugs to give him that elusive dream for a political candidates, but you may well remember explained with ease by Donkey to Shrek; layers. That’s right, Obama’s drug use was in fact, a natural byproduct of his asserting his identity as a “young, would-be black man”. “Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it.” "It was reflective of the struggles and confusion of a teenage boy," he maintains, signing off, ever-profound -"Teenage boys are frequently confused."
The Mayor of Toronto has come forwards with his open admission of having smoked “a lot of marijuana” amidst claims that he’s been caught on video smoking crack (met with staunch denials thus far). This is man it’s fair to say is generally unsympathetic towards cyclists, (“My heart bleeds for them when I hear someone gets killed, but it's their own fault at the end of the day”), harasses women, and is often publicly drunk and offensive – particularly at hockey matches. Thank goodness he wasn’t let loose on Canadian legislature prior to his heavy indulgence in his brain-numbing vice of choice.
Always been a slippery fish to pin down on this one, or indeed anything, has D.C., admitting "I did lots of things before I came into politics which I shouldn't have done. We all did." Later, “Cameron, The Rise of the New Conservative” serialised in several English newspapers was mere explicit regarding a 15 year old Cameron’s Eton hijinx. D.C. was caught smoking weed with chums, and though some of the group were expelled for selling, for merely smoking, Cam was landed with a whack of Latin poetry to copy out. It’s not fair to say that he’s come clean in response to these allegations, but has met them with his usual acknowledgement of assent; squirming galore.
Whatever you think of Blair, it was pretty rock n’ roll of him to elect Howard Marks, Mr Nice himself, to stand on the drug advisory board for his government. He’s managed to escape being tarred with the green brush thus far, despite fronting a rock band during his time as a student. Perhaps the best skirting around the issue to date comes from David Blunkett, Blair’s Home Secretary, who responded: "Goodness me, he played the guitar very well, but it is not synonymous with having a puff."
Michael D Higgins
Ah, he’s a poet, of course he’s trifled with weed, and came clean to the Irish Independent back as a Presidential Candidate in 2011. It was the 60s, it was Indiana, we’re not surprised and you shouldn’t be either. Not into the hard stuff, Micky was terrified of LSD, and the effects it had on those around him who took it. Let’s just hope his puff on a reefer didn’t stunt his growth.
Ever noble, Bush was recorded confessing to a pal “I wouldn't answer the marijuana question. You know why? 'Cause I don't want some little kid doing what I tried”. Though at first Bush’s hopes to set a good example appear striking, he goes on: "Do you want your little kid to say 'Hey daddy, President Bush tried marijuana, I think I will'?" and manages to let the world know the depths of his self-importance. Still, a remarkably human response from one of the biggest aliens of our age.
Luke Ming Flanagan
Flanagan told TheJournal.ie that he smokes pot only in countries where it’s acceptable, and so not presently in Ireland, though he lives in hope that this will not remain the case forever. As Ming states as an argument in favour of the legalization of the drug, “If they smoke cannabis they won’t be drinking five or six pints”, which while no doubt fair and true in some cases, but does somewhat gloss over those that think of weed as the perfect ending to an eve on the town. Yet Ming the Merciless (self-dubbed) has rallied a fair amount of publicity for the cause – sending all the TDs cannabis in the post in 2001.
Oh, BoJo. There was no staunch denial from the Mayor of London, in fact quite the opposite, when he declared “It’s perfectly true that I have had some drugs…I think you’d be very hard pushed to find an MP who’d admit to not having…had…hadding” (perhaps a tad flustered, Boris peters off into classic eccentric mumbles). Certainly a stylish admission – and the lesson to learn here, is if being questioned about one’s own drug use, be sure to if possible bring an entire government into question.