Thursday, January 04, 2007

Obama: You can recover from the stupid things you did as a teen

Senator Barack Obama's (D-IL) 12-year old revelations that he used marijuana and cocaine as a student are in the headlines this week, thanks to a Washington Post story speculating whether the admissions will hurt his not-yet-announced presidential campaign. Source. No previous presidential candidate has admitted to ever using cocaine. President Clinton said he smoked marijuana "but didn't inhale." Pres. Bush has admitted to past abuse of alcohol.

Says the Post:

Obama has not expressed any regrets for his candor. In a preface to the new edition, he says that he would tell the same story today "even if certain passages have proven to be inconvenient politically."

In the book, Obama acknowledges that he used cocaine as a high school student but rejected heroin. "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though," he says.

In an interview during his Senate race two years ago, Obama said he admitted using drugs because he thought it was important for "young people who are already in circumstances that are far more difficult than mine to know that you can make mistakes and still recover.

"I think that, at this stage, my life is an open book, literally and figuratively," he said. "Voters can make a judgment as to whether dumb things that I did when I was a teenager are relevant to the work that I've done since that time."

Possibly much more relevant to Obama's campaign than these old revelations of youthful drug use is the senator's current support for the Byrne program on methamphetamine. Read Maya Szalavitz as she rips him a new one over that issue.

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