Just a few decades ago, it would have been unheard of for a politician or other prominent public figure to casually talk about weed. Unless of course, they were talking about cracking down on it and locking people up for it. But today, of course, the prevailing cultural winds have changed.
Now, public figures aren’t just unafraid of talking about their personal history with cannabis; some even seem eager to admit to prior use. Everyone from city legislators up to former President Barack Obama have all let their green skeletons out of the closet. And as of today, we’ve learned that weed has made its way to the United States Supreme Court.
Report: Supreme Court Justice ‘Partied’ With Weed
Nine justices serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, and one of them just revealed her past experiences partying with weed. That justice is Elena Kagan, a centrist whom then-President Barack Obama nominated in 2010.
Long before Republicans made a show of blocking a nomination in the final months of the Obama presidency, the Senate confirmed Kagan without fanfare or scandal on August 5, 2010.
Kagan is just the fourth female justice in the history of the Supreme Court. And she’s the first justice since 1972 to serve on the Court without any previous experience as a judge.
But what Justice Elena Kagan does have previous experience with, apparently, is partying with weed.
Ironically enough, Kagan made the offhand remarks, which revealed her past associations with cannabis users, in the middle of a case about a party.
That case is District of Columbia v. Wesby, and it involves arrests police made after investigating a noise complaint about a raging house party back in 2008.
When the police arrived on the scene, party goers said they had been invited by a person named “Peaches.” Peaches, who was not the owner of the property, told police that the owner had leased her the house. However, police contacted the owner only to learn that he had not, in fact, leased the house to any such Peaches. Then, the cops arrested everyone present at the party.
Several of them sued the police department for wrongful arrest, working their way up the courts until their case ultimately landed in front of the Supreme Court.
Justice Elana Kagan: Let The People Party!
The dispute is straightforward.
It revolves around the question of whether the people at the part could have reasonably known they didn’t have permission to be there. If they thought someone truly invited them, the argument goes, how is it appropriate for police to arrest them for being there?
During oral arguments, Justice Kagan seemed to take the side of those at the party challenging their arrests. And Kagan had an interesting example to demonstrate her reasoning.
“I used to be invited to [parties] where [I] didn’t know the host. And can I say that long, long ago, marijuana was maybe present at those parties?”
Kagan’s point is this. You can show up to a party where something illegal is going on, and not know about it. But that doesn’t mean that you should be subject to arrest.
While Kagan’s remarks were somewhat off-the-cuff, they do reveal something important. Marijuana no longer has the extreme taboo it once did, especially in the upper echelons of political office. And that points to a wider and growing trend of tolerance and acceptance of cannabis in our society.