Would it surprise you to know that one of the most respected of all U.S. Presidents, President John F. Kennedy, is rumored to have used medicinal cannabis while in the White House?
Kennedy, who was known to suffer from Addison’s disease, as well as severe chronic back pain, was rumored to smoke cannabis on occasion, with a number of recent reports claiming his use was an effort to relieve the pain associated with his medical conditions.
While there is documentation of Kennedy’s usage of cannabis, the correlation with his reported medical conditions seems to lack the same documentary veracity. According to an excerpt from “John F. Kennedy: A Biography”:
“On the evening of July 16, 1962, according to [Washington Post executive] Jim Truitt, Kennedy and Mary Meyer smoked marijuana together. … The president smoked three of the six joints Mary brought to him. At first he felt no effects. Then he closed his eyes and refused a fourth joint. ‘Suppose the Russians did something now,’ he said.”
It seems clear from the written biographical account that Kennedy was witnessed smoking marijuana in the White House, but no such documentation seems to exist for claims that JFK was a medicinal user of cannabis.
It’s astonishing that over 60 years have passed, and yet otherwise law abiding citizens are still being locked in cages for treating their medical conditions with cannabis. The inhumanity of destroying someone’s life simply for trying to naturally treat a medical condition with a plant that grows in nature is truly a violation of human rights.
Almost half of all U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for either medicinal or recreational purposes, yet cannabis’s true potential as a medicine has continued to go unrealized after continually being hampered by federal restrictions.
Whether Kennedy was actually using cannabis as a treatment for his medical conditions or simply a recreational user of cannabis remains speculative. While there is a definitive record of people witnessing him smoke pot in the White House, there has been no conclusive proof put forth that he was a regular medicinal user. What’s certain is that people deserve the right to choose how they will combat pain and illness. No one should be forced into buying dangerous drugs from pharmaceutical companies, whose products kill more people annually than cocaine and heroin combined.
Please share this story if you think Americans should have the right to use cannabis as medicine and shouldn’t risk being thrown in a cage for doing so!
Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist whose work has previously been published on BenSwann and WeAreChange.org.
By Jay Syrmopoulos - Alternet/Aug. 28, 2015
Photo: Substance (with joint artistically crew-added)