Obama on Drugs: Moves Like Jagger

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 25 2012 1:23 PM

Obama on Drugs: Moves Like Jagger

Gavon Laessig up and aggregated the buzziest potential moments in David Maraniss's upcoming Barack Obama bio. At this link, you can find nearly every reference that Maraniss makes to the future president's drug habits. (If I made a habit of pot smoking, I'd cop the "intercepted!" line.)

Nick Gillespie asks the obvious libertarian question: Wait, hang on, this is the guy currently fighting the War on Drugs in full? Yes, but it's worse than that. Maraniss includes this factoid about the late 1970s in the state with the postal code HI.

The war on drugs had not yet started in earnest, and the Hawaii National Guard's Operation Destroy in 1977, when troops went after marijuana crops in the island hills, barely made a dent in the supply.
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The young Barack Obama lived through a massive anti-drug police operation. It didn't work, at all. You'd think he'd have noticed.

Later in Maraniss, we find a much more harmless anecdote.

Barry Obama played a lot of Hendrix, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Billie Holliday, but was known in the Annex for his wicked impression of Mick Jagger. He could do the walk, the strut, the face, and act out of the dramatic scene of the Rolling Stones on stage at the Altamont Speedway outside Livermore, California, on December 6, 1969, as violence that would lead to murder broke out in the crowd below: "Hey, hey people, sisters and brothers, brothers and sisters, come on now! That means everybody just cool out! They're fightin' a lot. Will you cool out, everybody?"

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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