Take a leaf out of Arnie’s book
Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t quite fit the image of a dopehead. But conservative as Republicans such as himself may be, Arnie is the Governor of an American state that gave the world phrases like ‘Far out, man!’ and geographically located cultural indicators like ‘Haight Ashbury’. So for the California Governor to state that marijuana “is not a drug, it’s a leaf” is not too far (out) from other famous observations like ‘Make love, not war’ and ‘Everybody must get stoned’.
Stating in a lifestyle magazine that he never took drugs — despite being shown in the 1977 documentary film, Pumping Iron, as taking a drag on a joint — Mr Schwarzenegger insists that the only ‘drug’ he indulged in was “pumping iron”. This is also contrary to his statements before he ran for the governorship in 2002: “I did smoke a joint and I did inhale” — a point of departure from other spliff-friendly blokes like Bill Clinton. He had added then that “that’s what it was in the Seventies”, underlining that he hadn’t touched it in subsequent decades.
When the ‘Summer of Love’ was at its height, the 20-year-old Arnold had just won the title of Mr Universe for the first time. That year, 1967, may have had the Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson in the White House, but with slogans like ‘Hey, hey LBJ! How many kids did you kill today?’ in the air, ‘anti-establishment’ activities like pot-smoking may have been the most obvious things to do even for a future Republican. Young Arnold may have flexed his pecs and taken his toke at the same time to the tune of the Jefferson Airplane’s hit, Somebody to Love. Why doesn’t he remember all this today? The weed (that is a leaf) can apparently lead to short-term memory loss....