In December 2003, the son of former Vice President Al Gore was arrested for possession of marijuana. Albert Gore III was arrested after police stopped his car for not having its headlights on. The cop smelled pot and found a joint and a baggie full of buds. Gore III was sentenced to a year of rehabilitation, urine testing and community service.
This wasn’t Gore III’s first brush with the law. He was suspended from school for smoking pot at a St. Alban’s prep school dance in 1996, the same year his sister Sarah was charged with underage drinking. In 2000, he was charged for going 97 mph in a 55 mph zone, and in 2002, he was stopped for suspected “driving under the influence.”
Kids on cannabis
Gore III joins a long line of White House kids who have been caught getting high.
In 1976 and 1977, Keith Stroup, the head of America’s largest pro-marijuana lobbying organization, smoked pot with Chip Carter, the son of President Jimmy Carter.
According to their mother, all three of the Carter boys smoked marijuana. From 1976 to 1978, until a series of scandals made it politically impossible, President Carter advocated federal decriminalization of marijuana.
Vice President Albert Gore smoked marijuana as a soldier during the Vietnam War, but he and Bill “I didn’t inhale” Clinton presided over an increase in drug war spending and arrests during the eight-year Clinton-Gore administration.
In 2002, Chelsea Clinton was criticized for passing out during wild booze binges in London.
President Bush’s twin daughters Jenna and Barbara have had numerous legal and personal problems due to violations of underage drinking laws, and college student friends of the Bush girls say the famous pair also enjoys marijuana.
Ashton Kutcher, star of That 70’s Show, recently told Rolling Stone the Bush daughters got high at a party at his home in 2003.
“I go upstairs to see another friend, and I can smell the green wafting out under the door,” Kutcher said. “I open the door and there he is, smoking out the Bush twins on his hookah.”
President Bush, who is believed to have engaged in cocaine use and driving while intoxicated prior to 1976, reportedly called his daughters to ask them to be more discreet about their drug use.
Florida Governor Jeb Bush, brother of the president, is a zealous drug warrior, but his daughter Noelle, now 26, was arrested in Tallahassee in 2002 for prescription drug fraud. She has been been cited for numerous traffic violations and for causing three car accidents.
Sentenced to do time in a rehab facility, Noelle allegedly stole pills from a nurse, and also allegedly had crack cocaine in the facility. She was sentenced to three days in jail for the pill incident, and later served 10 days in jail for having the cocaine.
Daddy to the rescue
American politicians who totally back the drug war often have children who run afoul of the law. Republican Representative Dan Burton backed the death penalty for drug traffickers, but when his son Dan II was convicted of felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in 1994, the elder Burton asked the judge for leniency.
Young Danny received a relatively light sentence, but five months later, police found 30 marijuana plants and a shotgun in Burton’s Indianapolis apartment. Federal mandatory minimum rules that his dad helped create should have sent Burton to prison for at least six years. Instead, his dad did a deal with prosecutors, and all charges were dropped.
Republican Congressman Duke Cunningham also advocated the death penalty for drug dealers, until his son Randy was convicted of having 400 pounds of pot. He pled for mercy for his son, but while out on bail, his son tested positive for cocaine and then jumped through a window to avoid being incarcerated for bail violations. Randy was sentenced to 30 months in jail, but this was only half the 60-month term that mandatory sentencing guidelines required.
Politicians’ children probably don’t use illegal drugs more than other young people do, but they are the victims of a special irony: the laws that ensnare them are often written by their parents!