Helping Obama pass his agenda, that doobie

By Scott Green

The legislative cocktail hours are a good start, but if President Obama really wants to win over congressmen, he’ll host White House pot parties.

At least this is the impression I get from “The Official High Times Pot Smoker’s Handbook,” a guide from America’s premier marijuana-themed magazine/emergency rolling paper. Chronicle Books sent it for free to Daily Illini features editor Jim Vorel in the hopes he’d publish a review but, in pursuit of journalistic excellence, I stole it off his desk.

I should confess that I’ve never personally tried marijuana. I thought if I ever wanted to run for public office, past pot usage could ruin me.

This theory has been challenged by the fact that every president since Clinton has smoked up. (Not in office, as far as I know. These things always happen as “youthful indiscretions,” which is a charming way of saying that if you did it, they’d sic federal rottweilers on you.)

Which makes me wonder if Obama’s cocktail hours go far enough. George W. Bush was a recovering alcoholic who stayed as far from booze as he could, making his presidential galas the most boring since 1877-81, when Rutherford B. Hayes banned alcohol from the White House grounds and required all guests, regardless of gender, to sport full-length beards.

But Obama has no such “recovering” status, and already hosted a number of spirits-infused events for wooable congressmen, including cocktail hours, a Super Bowl party, and an Oval Office beer pong tournament won by Roland Burris, who added the accomplishment to his tombstone.

Still, alcohol shouldn’t be Obama’s legislative lubricant of choice. It flares the temper, blurs the vision, causes hangovers, and makes you steal the “High Times” book off Jim Vorel’s desk. But if the president instead smokes pot with congressmen, we could see great American advances:

Obama: “What if we had NASA, like, send a dude to Mars?”

Congressman: “And he could totally bring back Doritos!”

Marijuana has a lot of other benefits, too, according to the book. And why would “High Times” lie about that, other than substantial monetary gain? Cannabis, the book explains, is an eye pain reducer, philosophy accelerator, fast food industry reinvigorator, etc.

Plus it would relax Obama’s guests to the core. I’ve spoken with a few congressmen; they tend to be uptight people who really need to mellow out, based on how quickly they try to stop talking to me.

Of course, a great many of these legislators have spent their careers railing against the dangers of marijuana, and so the White House will have to come up with ways to include them in the fracas without offending their sensibilities: namely, by sneaking it into their desserts. The High Times book includes recipes for “Peanut Butter Hash Fudge” and “Cocoberry Ganja Goo Balls,” and C-SPAN’s got to be rooting for the president to serve them, because viewership will skyrocket when Orrin Hatch gives a really deep filibuster about which of his toes he likes best.

But the important thing is, it’ll grease the wheels of governmental motion, and we’ll finally get that stimulus passed, with the legislative pork replaced by legislative pork rinds. Also federal funding for another Cheech and Chong sequel and the creation of a cabinet-level Department of Passing That, headed by Secretary Michael Phelps.

So I’m rooting for Obama to make the change. And then I’m running for Congress. It’s a good first step to becoming president. Smoking weed, I mean.

Scott is a third-year law student. He likes the middle toe on his left foot.