17 Politicians Who Got High Back In The Day & Are More Than Happy To Tell You About It

When you think of politicians doing drugs, your first thought is probably a flushed and sweaty Rob Ford smoking crack in someone's basement. However, the former Toronto mayor is not the only politician who's dabbled in illegal substances. While he might be the only one whose vice of choice was crack, many politicians have admitted to smoking a far more popular substance: marijuana.According to the World Health Organization, about 147 million people consume cannabis worldwide, and the Foundation For a Drug-Free World states that more than 94 million people in the U.S. alone have admitted to trying it at least once. With odds like that, then some of those people were bound to be politicos. Perhaps what is surprising is that among them are some of Washington's most prominent figures over the years, including several U.S. presidents. Some politicians, like former president Bill Clinton, insist that toking up was a one-off incident they didn't even enjoy, while others, like former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, all but admitted that they used to take bong hits while listening to Dr. Dre's The Chronic. With weed laws loosening across the country, it's becoming increasingly clear that marijuana is the drug of the people — and politicians are people too.

Al Gore

A 2000 biography of former Vice President Al Gore revealed that he was a major pothead in the 1970s.

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John Kerry

When Anderson Cooper moderated a Rock the Vote event in 2003, he asked, “Which of you are ready to admit to having used marijuana in the past?” Then-Senator John Kerry responded first: “Yes.

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John Edwards

Followed by then-Senator John Edwards…

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Howard Dean

And then Howard Dean.

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George W. Bush

In a New York Times article from 2005, private conversations between former president Bush and his friend were revealed. In one of them, Bush says, “I wouldn’t answer the [media’s] marijuana questions. You know why? Because I don’t want some little kid doing what I tried.”

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Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton admitted in 1992 that he tried pot when he was a student at Oxford University, but he “didn’t like it and didn’t inhale.”

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Sarah Palin

The otherwise conservative former Governor of Alaska is actually pretty progressive when it comes to marijuana reform. She also admitted to the Anchorage Daily News in 2006: “I can’t claim a Bill Clinton and say that I never inhaled.”

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Barack Obama

President Obama divulged his wild days in his 1995 memoir, Dreams of My Father, writing that in high school he dabbled in “pot and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it.” And at a media event in 2006, he told the crowd, “When I was a kid, I inhaled frequently. That was the point.”

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Michael Bloomberg

Before he was mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg told New York magazine in 2001 when asked if he ever smoked weed: “You bet I did. And I enjoyed it.” Sounds like whatever he smoked was pretty dank.

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Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told a NY1 reporter in 2010, “I did experiment with marijuana when I was a youth.”

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Rand Paul

While Senator Rand Paul has never outright admitted to smoking pot, he hinted at it during an interview with Louisville WHAS11: “Let’s just say I wasn’t a choir boy when I was in college and that I can recognize that kids make mistakes. And I can say I made mistakes when I was a kid.”

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Rick Santorum

In 2011, possible 2016 presidential hopeful Rick Santorum told Piers Morgan on his show: “Well, yeah, I admitted you know, back when I was running for the Senate, that when I was in college that I smoked pot and that was something that I did when I was in college.”

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Newt Gingrich

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is known to have smoked pot in the ’60s. He said in the ’90s that experimenting with Mary Jane was “a sign we were alive and in graduate school in that era.” I hate to say this, but he has a point. There was probably so much pot in the air back then, everyone was guilty of trying it.

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Susan Molinari

Former Representative Susan Molinari from New York admitted in 1996: “I did experiment with marijuana less than a handful of times.”

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Ed Koch

Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch admitted in 1980 that he tried the sticky icky because he wanted, “like everyone else, to see what it was like.”

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Arnold Schwarzenegger

The former Governor of California and Terminator admitted to smoking pot, but he told GQ, “[Marijuana] is not a drug. It’s a leaf.” Except it’s a leaf that’s a drug.

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George Pataki

The former New York governor wrote in his 1998 book, Pataki: Where I Come From, that he once cooked pot with baked beans. Sounds like a decision he made while already high.

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