William Jefferson Clinton, a name that conjures a lot of thoughts that scatter in many directions. The two terms of his presidency were filled with many high notes as well as low. He was a president that truly started to work towards helping the LGBT community. The country was heading financially in the right direction. But the two most remembered things of this time would be of course the impeachment/affair but the infamous (if not becoming a major punchline) words of Bill Clinton; ““I didn’t inhale”. This would definitely frame what would be remembered. This all stems from a 1992 interview on British TV where he said; “I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn’t like it, and didn’t inhale, and never tried it again.”
Perhaps this is correct, although thinking of it shouts high on the BS meter. But unfortunately what should be remembered has been mostly forgotten in favor of the more salacious happenings. The multiple changes in the laws, mostly for the severity would have a lasting impact upon the people of the United States. Those even within the community of cannabis users would be impacted with extreme severity to this day. And all of that can be simply put into the phrase; ” Three Strikes” So many people would be punished with a very biased lean towards individuals amongst ethnic minority communities. There would be and are still many people who are being imprisoned for small (as little as a gram) amounts of cannabis. The prison sentences would be obscene to such a level as an individual being sent to prison for 13 years on that ‘third strike’ for the possession of two joints.
This would be the beginning of the prison state that the United States has now become. Hundreds of thousands of non-violent drug sentences fill our prisons every year. This is a lasting impact that should be a stain on President Clinton’s legacy but it has been lost in the shuffle. But things were not going to get better in the least. The next president would double down on everything that his predecessors ever committed against the cannabis community. Hard to believe but George W. Bush would bring a new level of crazy against people who only looked to a plant for medical relief or just for general wellness.