- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Marijuana-smoking Colorado residents are embracing President Obama, who puffed a lot of weed in his younger days, as one of their own.

A bar patron in Denver greeted the president Tuesday night by offering some of his pot, asking Mr. Obama, “Do you want to hit this?” The president laughed and smiled at the man but didn’t answer as he shook hands with other patrons.

The man who offered drugs to the president, Matt Anton, posted a photo of Mr. Obama on his Instagram account with the note, “Asked him if he wanted a hit of pot … he laughed! #legalizeit #inhaled.”

On the president’s motorcade route into Denver from the airport, someone held up a sign proclaiming, “Free weed for Obama.”

After Mr. Obama greeted a supporter outside the bar who was wearing a horse’s head mask, a reporter from Time magazine tweeted a Photo-shopped picture of the president confronting an entire group of people with horse heads, with the caption: “The moment POTUS remembered Maureen Dowd’s warning about the Denver cookies.”

Colorado allowed legalized recreational marijuana sales in January. Mr. Obama has expressed support for the move and a similar one in Washington state.

Mr. Obama told an interviewer in January, “it’s important for it to go forward because it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished.”

“Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do,” he said at the time. “And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties.”

The president, who smoked so much marijuana as a teenager in Hawaii that he and his friends were known as the “choom gang,” hasn’t given his views on legalizing marijuana nationwide. The Justice Department has not challenged the efforts in Colorado and Washington.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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