And Then There Was That Time Joe Hockey Smoked A Joint On The Kokoda Track

Finance minister Mathias Cormann and Joe Hockey were busted with cigars before the budget. Source: Channel 9.

Canberra circles have been abuzz over the revelations in the federal Treasurer’s authorised biography, Hockey, Not Your Average Joe, that he wanted a much tougher budget, but was overruled by the Prime Minister.

The book, by Queensland journalist and broadcaster Madonna King, also alleges that the treasurer’s wife felt betrayed by Malcolm Turnbull in the 2009 leadership challenge Hockey lost to Tony Abbott by one vote, and would never trust Turnbull again, although Hockey has already denied this.

“I don’t agree with every word that has been written in the book but you would not expect me to,” Hockey said at the book’s launch this week.

But the other detail to emerge is that the treasurer, whose love of cigars emerged in the run-up to the budget, did indeed inhale while in opposition during a 2006 trek on the Kokoda Track.

Apparently the villagers skinned up the local weed and handed it the would-be treasurer, who thought it was pretty good, but seemed unaware of what it was until TV presenter David Koch pointed out it was a joint.

Here are the details from Joe’s biography, as recounted in The Guardian.

At the halfway point, at a little village called Efogi, the group dragged their feet into camp at about 5pm one afternoon. Local villagers came out to see them, and Joe, as always was mucking around. One of them gave him a cigarette, which he quickly enjoyed. Joe started to feel slightly better. David Koch looked over, realising immediately that Joe was enjoying a marijuana joint. “Do you know what you are smoking?” he asked. “I don’t know what it is,” Joe quipped back, “but it’s pretty good.”

The surprise is that Hockey had forgotten the smell and taste of dope, especially since it’s been revealed previously that he was partial to the occasional puff of the magic dragon while at university.

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