Pot isn't that big of a deal and apparently neither is the hard stuff like cocaine and LSD. Sen. Al Franken used all three as part of a pretty serious drug regimen to, you know, keep his mind limber during his days as a comic on Saturday Night Live.
"For my part, I never really got into trouble with drugs. I used to say, ‘I only did cocaine so I could stay up late enough to make sure nobody else did too much cocaine,' which was a joke, but not too far from the truth," Franken writes in his new book, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate.
And that's a significant admission from someone who might want a job in the White House. Of course, plenty of past presidents have used drugs—Clinton experimented without inhaling in England and Obama had his infamous "choomwagon." But this is different.
The Franken admission signals that drug use isn't the political liability it once was. And if the liberal funnyman should win the Democrat nomination in 2020, Franken will prove that dropping acid doesn't preclude one from running for president.
To Franken's credit, he got clean after the sudden overdose death of SNL co-star, John Belushi. "For whatever reason," he writes in the book, "I never became addicted. There but for the grace of God go I."
A forgiving electorate probably won't make up their mind after they found out that Franken fried his brain on drugs in the eighties. At the same time, it won't win him many points. Not to harsh Franken's mellow, but Obama was probably the last president who made drugs look cool.
Millennials aren't reaching for illicit drugs anymore. Angel dust and pot don't do the trick anymore, the Economist reports Friday. Use of cocaine and marijuana have plummeted in the last decade. Instead they're much more likely to raid their parent's medicine cabinets for painkillers.
Far from crashing and burning his political prospects then, Franken's drug use more than likely will just peg him as a boring old guy. For an old comic trying to identify with the youths, that's got to be a buzz kill.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.