No, it’s not Bill Clinton. He didn’t inhale remember? It’s Richard Nixon who’s famous for saying, “I am not a crook” claiming he wasn’t involved in the Watergate scandal, but of course, we know how that worked out for him! Well to top it all off he also smuggled pot into this country without even knowing it according to Roger Stone who wrote a book called“Nixon’s Secrets: The Rise, Fall, and Unknown Truth About the President, Watergate, and the Pardon.”
Armstrong the Goodwill Ambassador
In 1958, the U.S. State Department made Louis Armstrong a goodwill ambassador and sent him on a tour around Europe and Asia. During a trip home, he was ushered into the customs line at an airport in Idlewild, New York. Agents there had been tipped off about the possibility of contraband. Armstrong just happened to be carrying three pounds of weed in his luggage and if found out the incident could’ve caused him some major embarrassment, but luckily Vice President Richard Nixon showed up just in the nick of time! Apparently photographers were following the president around the airport and Nixon, seeing Armstrong, thought it would be a great idea to take advantage of a photo op.
“Satchmo, what are you doing here?” Nixon asked. Armstrong had more than one nickname and all of them referred to his big mouth which blew a trumpet. “Satchelmouth” was one nickname he had and Percy Brooks, the editor of Melody Maker magazine, called him “Satchmo” by accident one time, mispronouncing it, and Armstrong kept it. He titled his second autobiography Satchmo, inscribed it on two of his trumpets, and on his stationery.
Nixon might as well have been wearing a green cape like some marijuana superhero because he grabbed both of Armstrong’s suitcases and escorted Armstrong away from the customs line. “Ambassadors don’t have to go through customs and the Vice President of the United States will gladly carry your bags for you,” he said and that’s how Nixon became a drug smuggler never even knowing what he’d done! Someone eventually told Nixon what happened and in disbelief he responded, “Louie smokes marijuana?”
Armstrong and marijuana
If you check out Louis Armstrong’s autobiography, “Louis Armstrong, in His Own Words: Selected Writings,” you’ll see that he started smoking early on in his career in the 1920s. In his book, he writes about ganja extensively and calls it “gage,” a slang term. He refers to it as an “assistant” or a friend and is quoted as saying ” … it’s a thousand times better than whiskey.” It’s also been said Armstrong wrote to President Eisenhower once asking him to legalize it explaining how alcohol is worse than marijuana. When Armstrong died in 1971 Nixon is quoted as saying, “…his great talents and magnificent spirit added richness and pleasure to all our lives.”
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