Steny Hoyer denies past marijuana usage


The Hill reports:

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday he’s never smoked marijuana, just hours after suggesting he’d experimented with the drug, whether “inhaling or not.”

“To be clear, I have not used marijuana,” Hoyer said.

Here’s what he said earlier in the day:

At a press conference Tuesday morning, Hoyer had endorsed a Maryland state proposal decriminalizing small amounts of recreational marijuana, citing the popularity of the drug and the number of nonviolent offenders incarcerated for pot charges.

“It’s clear that we have an awful lot of people in our prisons, or suffering from a criminal conviction, [who] have done things that — I’m not going to ask for a show of hands. If I did, I could raise my hand,” he said, a hand in the air.

Asked by a reporter what his raised hand signified, Hoyer was elusive.

“It was subtle,” he said to laughter. “The use thereof. Or the trying thereof — inhaling or not. Experimentation.”

Many in the room took that as an indication that Hoyer had sampled the drug at some point in his 74 years.

More on his clarification

Not so, the Maryland Democrat said later in the day.

“The point I tried to make was that I wasn’t going to ask for a show of hands of people who haven’t tried marijuana — because if I did, I would probably be one of very few who could raise my hand,” he said.

It sounds like Hoyer had experimented with marijuana before he hadn’t, to paraphrase another Democrat on a different topic.

Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton is an award-winning blogger who has been aggregating and blogging since 1998. He has worked as a reporter, in government, and as a communications professional in Columbia, SC and Washington, DC.

Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.

Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.
Jeff Quinton