You might want to sit down for this one, folks, because it’s absolutely Earth-shattering. According to a spokesperson for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the potential 2016 presidential candidate — get this — “foolishly experimented with marijuana” as a teenager. The spokesperson said it showed a “lack of judgment,” and added, “It was a mistake, and he’s never tried it since.”
Notice that politicians didn’t do drugs, they “experimented” with them, as though they were conducting a scientific study. You know, for research purposes to determine whether they found the psychopharmacological effects on their bodies agreeable or not. Bad high? Failed experiment. Good high? See if the results can be repeated!
Cruz’s mearijuana culpa stands in contrast to other presidential hopeful Jeb Bush’s admission to The Boston Globe that, “I drank alcohol and I smoked marijuana when I was at [Phillips Academy in] Andover,” before noting, “It was pretty common.” Bush had previously called his behavior at Andover “stupid” and “wrong,” but you have to admire his attempt to deflect it by invoking the everybody-did-it defense.
Although we’ve come a ways since Bill Clinton admitted to puffing a joint but not inhaling it, 22% of Americans still say they’d be less likely to vote for an otherwise qualified candidate for president if that person had used marijuana. Six percent said they’d be more likely to vote for that candidate. (Once upon a time in 2006, Barack Obama confessed, “I inhaled frequently. That was the point.”)
While I won’t be voting for Ted Cruz for anything except maybe Taint of the Year, count me among those six percent. If I’m ever in the voting booth and looking at two identical candidates but for the fact that one has smoked weed and one hasn’t, I’m casting my ballot for the person who had the tryst with Mary Jane. In fact, I’ll do you one better: In my president, I want someone who’s turned their body into a walking repository for illicit chemicals.
To be clear, I don’t want the candidate to currently be such a specimen. There’s no point in having a drug-addled president, unless of course he’s hopped up on PCP going into a meeting with Putin and acting like a madman just like that time Nixon did with the Russians. (Not the PCP part, just the crazy part).
That’s because if you did a lot of drugs in your youth and now don’t, that means you’re battle tested and came out clear on the other side. You’ve seen and experienced things. You might not recommend them, but those experiences made you the person you are today: a better person; a sober person (relatively); a person with an edge who hopefully gets it when it comes to our insane war on drugs.
This was Mitt Romney’s problem during the 2012 presidential campaign. Romney not only didn’t do illegal drugs, but his big reveal was, “I tasted a beer and tried a cigarette once as a wayward teenager, and never did it again.” So in one sentence, Romney affirmed his Mormonism-motivated squarehood and also told every American who drinks or smokes that they’re “wayward.” And even if he were the candidate voters wanted to have a beer with –and I can’t see how he possibly would be — they’d have to settle for drinking a–a–you know–ah, I really can’t think of a non-alcoholic beverage right now.
So here’s my proposal. We amend the constitutional requirements for the presidency to now read:
“No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States, and ingested copious amounts of illicit substances, thereby proving that person is not a total square.”
I can see it now — the amendment passing with flying colors through the Congress and then the state legislatures. It’s beautiful and glorious and all the colors of the rainbow.
Actually, no. It’s just the LSD kicking in.