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BuzzFeed has all the details of new, marijuana-centric excerpts from David Maraniss’ forthcoming biography, “Barack Obama: The Story.”The last time we heard from Maraniss was in Vanity Fair, which released excerpts that included a diary from Obama’s 20s girlfriend, Genevieve Cook. (That delved into a weird controversy over the so-called “admission” from Obama that he had “compressed” characters in Dreams from My Father to “composites.”)
This time, it’s all about Obama and his pot-smoking “Choom Gang” while he attended Punahou High School in Honolulu and Occidental College in Los Angeles.
The book will be released June 19, but parts of it have already made their way to Google Books. In a chapter entitled “Barry Obama,” Maraniss starts off like this:
A self-selected group of boys at Punahou School who loved basketball and good times called themselves the Choom Gang. Choom is a verb, meaning “to smoke marijuana.” As a member of the Choom Gang, Barry Obama was known for starting a few pot-smoking trends. The first was called “TA,” short for “total absorption.” To place this in the physical and political context of another young man who would grow up to be president, TA was the antithesis of Bill Clinton’s claim that as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford he smoked dope but never inhaled.
There’s all kinds of stuff that follows, including details of rides in the “Choomwagon” and how Barry made the concept of “roof hits” popular. But perhaps the best detail is about Barry’s “interceptions.”
Barry also had a knack for interceptions. When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted “Intercepted!,” and took an extra hit. No one seemed to mind.
There you have it. Barack Obama, High School Stoner. Others have already pointed out how this contrasts with Mitt Romney, High School Bully.
Maraniss cautioned that there’s still more to come with the book’s arrival:
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