Monday, February 21, 2005


By Stockton

In 1998, an aid to former President George H.W. Bush began secretly recording conversations with future President George W. Bush.

The conversations ranged in topic from John Ashcroft to Evangelical Christians. However, the most influential statements involves drug use and today's youth.

Bush also criticizes then-Vice President Al Gore for admitting marijuana use and explains why he would not do the same.

"I wouldn't answer the marijuana questions," he said, according to the Times. "You know why? Because I don't want some little kid doing what I tried."

According to some teens, Bush's refusal to answer questions profoundly impacted their lives.

"It was huge for me," said Todd Butterfield. "I was 18 then and pretty messed up. All my friends were trying marijuana cigarettes. I abstained but if I knew the Governor of Texas had smoked marijuana cigarettes, it would have been a whole different ball game."

Scott Jansen tells a similar story. "The one thing that kept me off weed was knowing that W didn't admit to using. I owe him my life, man. My Life!"

The example that public officials set for today's youth cannot be underestimated. Just ask Larry Swartz, 17, from Passaic, New Jersey. Larry lost his best friend when Governor James McGreevey admitted he was gay.

"Hey, I figured if the Governor of New Jersey was doing it, it must be the cool thing to do. Unfortunately, Steve must not have been caught up on current events because he beat the crap out of me when I tried to kiss him in the boys shower."

Sociologist Kenneth Ward says that the impact politicians have on youth should never be underestimated. "Young people watch politicians, whether it's their local councilman or the President of the United States. They hang posters of politicians in their bedrooms and want to be just like them, even down to the hair and clothes. I applaud President Bush for his decision not to discuss his relationship with illicit drugs."

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