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January 2009
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Obama’s half brother arrested for marijuana possession

CNN

George Obama, the half brother of U.S. President Barack Obama, has been arrested by Kenyan police on a charge of possession of marijuana, police said Saturday. […]
CNN Correspondent David McKenzie talked with George Obama at the jail where he is being held. Speaking from behind bars, Obama denied the allegations.
“They took me from my home,” he said, “I don’t know why they are charging me.”

In a sane world, he wouldn’t be arrested. In a sane world, the arrest of a barely known half-brother in a different country on something as minor as this wouldn’t have any effect on drug policy here.
But this isn’t a sane world. So I have no idea if this will be a non-story, or if it will be the media’s new drug policy story.
It’s already been breathlessly picked up by hundreds of media outlets, and yet when real, substantive drug policy stories come along, we sadly get excited when two of our long-time supporters in the press pick it up.
Certainly, there is a history of Presidential relatives getting in trouble. George W. Bush had Noelle, Bill Clinton had Roger, Ronald Reagan had Patti, Jimmy Carter had Billy. There’s no reason to hold the Presidents in any way responsible for the actions of their relatives.
But here’s the thing that worries me.
Right now, there’s probably a political advisor whispering in Barack’s ear: “Hey, I know it’s no big deal, but with George’s arrest, and you admitting to marijuana use when you were younger, the last thing you can afford to do politically right now is to get in a public fight with Michele at the DEA over medical marijuana. It’ll look like you’re doing it because you’re pro-pot. So just stay out of it until a better time.”
Again, I’m just guessing here. How do you think this will play out?

[Thanks, Dave]

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