The news: A new book claims that potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was an “enthusiastic pot user,” according to a quote from a former law school classmate.
Clinton recently denied ever having tried weed in an interview while promoting her book, claiming, “I didn’t do it when I was young. I’m not going to start now.”
However, after being against decriminalization during her 2008 presidential bid and calling for more research into its medical benefits, this time around, Clinton has recently said, “I think for people who are in extreme medical conditions and who have anecdotal evidence that it works, there should be availability under appropriate circumstances.”
It’s a somewhat noncommittal kind of support, but it is worlds away from her previous opposition to decriminalizing.
With the status quo. If Clinton was an “enthusiastic pot user” in college, she’s not much different from nearly half of the population. According to a 2013 Pew Research poll, 48% of Americans have tried cannabis at some point. Clinton’s political views on the topic are also shifting with the national trend, with amajority of the country in favor of legalization. Her statements signal favorable leadership for the pro-legalization majority.
Insult turned to favor. The book making the claim, Clinton, Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine, is essentially a takedown of both Bill and Hillary Clinton’s political careers. Its timing suggests that it hopes to detract from Clinton’s anticipated 2016 presidential run. However, considering popular public support for marijuana legalization, accusations of pot use may simply make her seem more relatable. All in all, it could mean a higher IQ rating for Clinton and a better chance that we might have a cannabis-supportive president come 2016.
Where and How Was the Bill and Hillary Clinton 1970s “Hippie” Photo Taken?
My father, Charles F. Palmer, a law school classmate of Bill Clinton, took the photo.
I have a photo of the same exact place and time, with Bill and Hillary in same clothes, but with my mother in the photo. Bill had given them a ride to the train station. Just uploaded it to my twitter feed: @oatespalmer.
My mother and father came to Yale in the fall of 1970, having dated and lived together in Berkeley and in Washington DC. My father was in Bill Clinton’s law class, the class of 1973. (Bob Reich, the future Secretary of Labor, was also in their year.) My mother, Marylouise Oates, received her Masters of Divinity from Yale around the same time. Hillary Rodham was in the Yale law class of 1972, even though she was younger than both Bill Clinton and my father – she went straight to Yale after she graduated from Wellesley.
Shortly after Bill Clinton was elected President, my mother found this photograph (below) in a photo album somewhere and gave me a copy. When Hillary Clinton wrote her memoir, Living History, I saw that the photograph of just her and Bill from Yale was on the back cover — and was credited only to “courtesy of author’s private collection” or something like that. I recognized it as likely being taken around the same time as the photo with my mom, and thought it could have been taken by my dad, too, but didn’t really explore it.
Probably about a year ago, people were posting the “just Bill and Hillary” Yale photo on Facebook, and I looked closely at the two photos side by side and saw that they were clearly taken at the same time and the same place — same building behind them, and Bill Clinton in virtually the exact same pose. I posted the two photographs on my Facebook page.
A few months later — just the other day — a friend who is friends with a Quora staffer sent me the link to this question. I have always wanted to see my dad, now a Superior Court Judge here in Los Angeles, given credit for taking this iconic photograph of the two Clintons.
I have the photo of the Clintons and my mom framed in my house. When I show someone the photo, I like to let them figure out who is in the picture. They inevitably have one of two responses: “HOLY $#&$ LOOK AT BILL CLINTON’S HAIR” or they ignore the Clintons completely — not recognizing them — and instead say, “Check out the boots your mom is rocking!”