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September 2004
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No surprise here. President Bush used drugs.

From the Mirror, the latest on President Bush and his drug use.

GEORGE W Bush snorted cocaine at Camp David, a new book claims.

His wife Laura also allegedly tried cannabis in her youth.

Author Kitty Kelley says in her biography The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty, that the US President first used coke at university in the mid-1960s.

She quotes his former sister-in-law Sharon Bush who claims: “Bush did coke at Camp David when his father was President, and not just once either.”

Other acquaintances allege that as a 26-year-old National Guard, Bush “liked to sneak out back for a joint or into the bathroom for a line of cocaine”.

Bush has admitted being an alcoholic but, asked during the 1999 election if he did drugs, he said: “I’ve told the American people that years ago I made some mistakes.

“I’ve learned from my mistakes and should I be fortunate enough to become president I will bring dignity and honour to the office.”

Later an aide clarified his remarks saying Bush hadn’t taken illegal drugs in the past 25 years.

It’s not like this news is particularly surprising. The President experimented with drugs in his youth, just like a huge portion of the American population. And as long as his drug use didn’t interfere with his ability to do his job (an important question, but perhaps more important in relation to alcohol), then I have no problem with whether he did coke at Camp David 14 years ago, or in the Lincoln Bedroom yesterday.
What I do have a problem with is that he (like so many politicians) think that youthful experimentation is just fine for them, but merits prison for the rest of America. That attitude is simply corrupt.
And no, I refuse the arguments put forward by some that it’s not hypocrisy if you discover the flaw in your own character, correct it, and then enforce it for others. Sorry, but it’s still hypocrisy. You give yourself a free ride for your past (perhaps with some kind of meaningless mea culpa), but require that others do more — they must appear in court, serve time, etc., — and that they may not have the same opportunity to survive that youthful experimentation as you.
If a political leader had murdered someone in their youth, it would be expected for them to turn themselves in for criminal charges — not just say that this was a youthful mistake, they’re sorry, they’ve changed, and let’s crack down on murderers today.
Politicians must NOT be let off the hook for their youthful drug use while writing, passing, and enforcing tough drug laws for others. And this goes for Clinton, Obama, Bush, and a host of others on both sides of the aisle. No, I’m not advocating jailing Bush. But neither is it acceptable to gloss over this issue without a real discussion of drug policy.

[Thanks to BuzzFlash]

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