Did You Know That Obama…?

Question by : Did you know that Obama…?
“Barack Obama on Drugs
Democratic President (2008); IL Senator (2004)

Yes, he still smokes while President
Contrary to Obama’s repeated claims that he is quitting smoking, he has continued to smoke regularly, agents say. A week after being sworn in as president, Obama told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he hadn’t had a cigarette on the White House grounds. That left open the possibility that he smokes on the Truman Balcony and in the White House residence and West Wing. Agents say he smokes outside the White House as well.
Source: In the President`s Secret Service, by Ronald Kessler, p.224 Jun 29, 2009

Look at needle exchange; and expand treatment
Q: D.C. has the highest infection rate. How can we address that?
A: I think it is important that we are targeting HIV/AIDS resources into the communities where we’re seeing the highest growth rates. That means education and prevention, particularly with young people. It means that we have to look at drastic measure, potentially like needle exchange in order to insure that drug users are not transmitting the disease to each other. And we’ve got to expand on treatment programs. And all of that is going to cost some money and some time. But again, if we think about the enormous costs of homelessness, or the enormous cost of HIV/AIDS, over the long term, as people visit emergency rooms, etc. The more we are investing in that ounce of prevention the better off we’re going to be.

Source: 2008 Politico pre-Potomac Primary interview Feb 11, 2008

Fight to rid our communities of meth
Combat Methamphetamine: Meth use has increased 156% nationwide since 1996. Obama has a long record of fighting the meth epidemic. As President, he will continue the fight to rid our communities of meth and offer support to help addicts heal.
Obama cosponsored legislation that became law to combat the scourge of methamphetamines.
Source: Campaign booklet, “Blueprint for Change”, p. 32-33 Feb 2, 2008

Expand drug courts; help prisoners with substance abuse
Disparities Continue to Plague Criminal Justice System: African Americans and Hispanics are more than twice as likely as whites to be searched & arrested when stopped by police. Disparities in drug sentencing laws, like the differential treatment of crack as opposed to powder cocaine, are unfair.
Expand Use of Drug Courts: Obama will give first-time, non-violent offenders a chance to serve their sentence, where appropriate, in the type of drug rehabilitation programs that have proven to work better than a prison term in changing bad behavior.
Reduce Crime Recidivism by Providing Ex-Offender Support: Obama will provide job training, substance abuse and mental health counseling to ex-offenders, so that they are successfully re-integrated into society.
Eliminate Sentencing Disparities:The disparity between sentencing crack and powder-based cocaine is wrong and should be completely eliminated.
Source: Campaign booklet, “Blueprint for Change”, p. 49 Feb 2, 2008

2001: questions harsh penalties for drug dealing
In 2001, Obama questioned the harsh penalties for drug dealing, noting that selling 15 tablets of Ecstasy was the same class of felony as raping a woman at knifepoint. In 2002, Obama sponsored an unsuccessful measure to create an employment grant program for edx-criminals, who often return to a life of crime because no one will hire them.
Source: The Improbable Quest, by John K. Wilson, p.146-147 Oct 30, 2007

Not first candidate to use drugs, but first honest about it
One issue that exposed the disconnect between Obama’s appeal & the conventional wisdom of an older generation is his drug use. The Washington Post focused on his use of drugs as a teen that he reveals in his book, Dreams from My Father: “Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack though.”
Obama’s honesty in addressing the issue reflects a generational change in politics. Most voters no longer care about youthful drug use; they’re worried about having an honest person in the White House. In 1992, Bill Clinton answered a question about his drug use by saying he had tried marijuana, but “didn’t inhale.” When asked, “Did you inhale?” Obama replied, “That was the point.” Obama was making fun of old-style politician who thought they could fool the voters.

Obama is almost certainly isn’t the first person to use cocaine and then run for president. But he is the first presidential candidate honest enough to talk about the troubles of his youth.

Source: The Improbable Quest, by John K. Wilson, p. 12-13 Oct 30, 2007 ” [1]

[1] http://www.issues2000.org/celeb/Barack_Obama_Drugs.htm

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