“Suppose the Russians did something now,” JFK reportedly said after smoking three joints at the White House to relieve pain.
Anybody who is still undecided on the medical marijuana issue may be interested to learn of one of our nation’s most high-profile beneficiaries: President John F. Kennedy.
The late leader suffered from severe back pain and Addison’s disease (a rare, chronic endocrine disorder). According to John F. Kennedy: A Biography (2006), he often relieved his symptoms with the help of some presidential pot. Although other presidents have admitted to smoking it—whether or not they ‘fessed up to actually inhaling—JFK’s use was, according to the biography, actually in the White House:
“On the evening of July 16, 1962, according to [Washington Post executive] Jim Truitt, Kennedy and Mary Meyer smoked marijuana together. … The president smoked three of the six joints Mary brought to him. At first he felt no effects. Then he closed his eyes and refused a fourth joint. ‘Suppose the Russians did something now,’ he said.”
Although the thought of JFK being baked in the war room may be unnerving, given his condition, he was probably better off for it. The symptoms of Addison’s disease, which causes the adrenal glands to produce insufficient steroid hormones, include abdominal pain, weakness, and potentially even very low blood pressure and coma. Patients report that marijuana can provide effective relief.
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