New York press smokes Clinton out on marijuana use

Mike Royko

April 03, 1992|By Mike Royko | Mike Royko,Tribune Media Services

"Governor, I have another question about your admitted use of marijuana in the past."

"I thought we had put that behind us. As I explained, I tried it once many years ago. Took two puffs, didn't inhale, didn't like it and haven't tried it since."

"Yes, Governor, but there are still some points that should be cleared up to satisfy the public's right to know what the New York media believe they have a right to know."

"Such as?"

"Do you know if the marijuana was Maui Wowee?"

"I have no idea where it came from."

"So you cannot deny it was Maui Wowee?"

"No, but I can't confirm it, either."

"In other words, it could have been Maui Wowee."

"I suppose so. It could also have been oregano, for all I know."

"Are you now changing your position and claiming that you did not smoke marijuana, but only oregano?"

"No, I don't know if it was oregano."

"Could it have been Acapulco Gold?"

"As I said, I don't know."

"Then you aren't ruling that out?"

"I am not ruling it out or in."

"Governor, were there any seeds in the reefer you claim to have taken only two puffs from?"

"I have no idea."

"Well, when you took the two puffs, did you hear any snap, crackle or popping noise that would indicate the presence of seeds?"

"I have not heard any snap, crackle or popping noises since I consumed Rice Krispies."

"You say you consumed Rice Krispies? Was this as a result of having the munchies at the gathering where you smoked marijuana?"

"No, I had Rice Krispies as a child."

"How old were you when you had Rice Krispies?"

"About 7 or 8. Maybe 9."

"Can you be more specific than that?"

"No, I can't."

"Then, Governor, don't you think it is inconsistent that you can remember taking only two puffs of marijuana, but you can't remember how old you were when you ate Rice Krispies?"

"Well, I. ..."

"Governor, has your wife's law firm ever represented the Rice Krispies company?"

"To the best of my knowledge, no."

"But if the law firm had represented them, Governor, would not your having eaten Rice Krispies be considered a conflict of interest?"

"No, because I ate the Rice Krispies before I met my wife."

"Governor, to get back to your claim that you took only two puffs of marijuana on that one occasion in England. After taking these two puffs, do you recall using the phrase, 'Oh, wow, groovy, man'?"

"No, I don't remember saying, 'Oh, wow, groovy, man.' "

"You say you don't remember. Does that mean you could have said, 'Oh, wow, groovy, man'?"

"No, I definitely did not say that. It is not the kind of phrase I would use."

"Then you deny it?"

"Absolutely."

"What about the word 'wow'?"

"What about it?"

"Could you have used the word 'wow," without the 'groovy, man'?"

"You mean, just plain 'wow'?"

"That's right, Governor."

"Well, I suppose there have been times when I have used the word 'wow.' "

"Then can you say for certain that you did not use the word 'wow' the evening you say you took only two puffs from a marijuana cigarette and did not inhale them?"

"I don't remember using the word 'wow,' but, no, I can't flatly say I did not use it."

"So it is possible that you did say 'wow' that evening."

"I suppose it is possible. I might have also said 'golly.' I use 'golly' more than I use 'wow.' "

B6 "But if you did say 'wow,' Governor, could it have

been while you were staring blankly at a flickering candle in a darkened room, marveling at the strange and wondrous color formations?"

"No, I did not stare blankly at any flickering candles."

"How about light bulbs?"

"No, I did not stare at any light bulbs, either."

"Governor, do you recall giggling that evening?"

"I am not inclined to giggle."

"Are you saying you never giggle? Is that what you are telling the New York press, Governor, that you never giggle?"

"I didn't say I never giggle. But I am more likely to grin."

"Then is it possible that after taking those two puffs which you now claim were the only puffs you ever took, you might have grinned foolishly? While at the same time saying 'wow'?"

"If I grinned, somebody might have thought it to be a foolish grin, but that foolishness would be in the eyes of the beholder."

"So you don't deny the possibility that you grinned foolishly while saying 'wow'?"

"I can't deny it because, as I told you, I don't remember."

"Then Governor, explain this. If you took only two puffs from that reefer, and did not inhale them, how is it possible that those two puffs could have made you grin foolishly and say 'wow,' which you do not deny it is possible that you said?"

"Wow, that is some question."

"Governor, you just said 'wow.' "

"Yes, I guess I did."

"Yet, Governor, a few moments ago, you said you seldom said 'wow,' that you were more likely to say, 'golly.' Have you changed your position on that?"

"Golly, no."

"Now you have said, golly, Governor. Isn't that an indication that you are opportunistic?"

"Gosh, I don't think so."

"You've changed positions, again, Governor. What does that say about your electability?"

"I don't think it says anything."

"Then explain this, Governor: Why did you prefer Rice Krispies to Wheaties?"

"I liked them both."

+ "Sorry, we're out of tape."

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