31 May 2012
- According to the new biography, "Barack Obama: The Story", the U.S. president had a much more enthusiastic approach to smoking marijuana in his youth than previously thought.
As a secondary school pupil in Honolulu, Hawaii, in the late 1970s, Obama is said to have been a member of the "Choom Gang". Choom is a hawaiian world for pot. This was a group of boys who played basketball and smoked weed. "Barry Obama was known for starting a few pot-smoking trends," according to David Maraniss, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. "The first was called 'TA,' short for 'total absorption'."
Obama's favoured technique is described as "the antithesis" to his predecessor, Bill Clinton's claim to have barely participated in – and certainly not enjoyed – smoking the drug.
Any Choom Gang members caught daring to exhale before absorption was total "were assessed a penalty" and faced being "skipped the next time the joint came around," as we learnt from the book. The future president is said to have been a bit of a drag. "When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted 'Intercepted!,' and took an extra hit," said Maraniss.