WASHINGTON-- Just in case there are any voters out there who don’t already know that the incumbent president smoked marijuana as a teenager, several websites Friday revealed details from David Maraniss’ soon-to-be-released biography about the young Barry Obama and his “choom gang.”
Maraniss’ book doesn’t get officially released to the public until mid-June, but advance copies sent to reviewers have been circulating. And in the Internet era, efforts to maintain embargos on newsy details of new books have become increasingly futile.
In this case, Maraniss describes how Obama and a group of high school buddies from the exclusive Punahou School in Honolulu would hang out together to sample – extensively – the island’s copious varieties of weed. Obama, himself, described the pot smoking of his youth in his memoir of growing up, “Dreams From My Father,” but left many of the details unsaid.
Unlike Bill Clinton, who famously claimed that he had smoked, but never inhaled, Obama’s friends credited him with setting a rule of “total absorption”: anyone who exhaled prematurely lost his next turn at the joint. And he was known, Maraniss reports, for “Interceptions”: “When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted ‘Intercepted!’ and took an extra hit.”