Jacinda Ardern Admits to Smoking Weed

Ardern Answers our Burning Question Ahead of Quickly Approaching Cannabis Referendum.

In a recent debate between Labour leader and current PM of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, and her opponent, National Party Leader Judith Collins, Ardern was probed with a what she described as questions that had "a bit of a pub quiz feel". Ultimately, through the blistering debate, Ardern admitted to smoking weed. This admission is made on the cusp of a referendum in New Zealand, as to whether marijuana should be legalized for recreational use. If the referendum passes, there could be widespread implications for other countries looking to legalize the substance.

Times have changed since Bill Clintons infamous statement on trying weed: "I've never broken a state law," he stated at a candidates' forum. "But when I was in England I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn't like it. I didn't inhale it, and never tried it again." Now, with a more rigorous level of authenticity and realism expected from our politicians, and the more widespread acceptance of marijuana as a part of life, politicians are beginning to fess up to dabbling with pot. Adored leaders such as Barack Obama have come clean about substance use, with Obama writing detailed accounts in his book Dreams from My Father, about smoking marijuana during high school and college.

Yes I did [smoke cannabis]. A long time ago.Jacinda Ardern

For some time, Ardern has shirked the question of whether she has enjoyed a joint before, answering "I was once a Mormon and then I wasn't, that's how I'll put that." However, she ultimately confessed to the burning question of whether she's smoked weed "Yes I did. A long time ago". Though Ardern still remains firmly tight-lipped about her vote in the referendum, insisting "I made a clear decision that I want the public of New Zealand to decide this and I want this not to be about politics". Politicians like Sarah Palin have admitted to trying weed in the past, yet remained staunchly opposed to the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in her political career. Ardern's vote, if she was to reveal it before the election, would no doubt have great sway on how Kiwi's intend to vote, as Ardern's popularity in New Zealand continues to grow.

As for the opposition, Ms. Collins said during the debate that she'd "absolutely been offered" a joint in the past but declined to smoke it. "I was very focused on being a lawyer … I don't do everything I'm asked to do," she said. Collins also commented on Ardern's previous reluctance to admit to smoking a jay, saying "I don't worry about what she does in her private life … but I don't know why it took her so long to admit it".

Ultimately, we are living in a time where it is highly unlikely for a politician to have never tried weed before, with a wide majority of people in countries like the U.S., New Zealand and Australia admitting to smoking weed at least once in their life. Ardern's statement brings us closer to a political landscape in which our leaders admit to the things we have all done, and join us in the normalcy of their lives.

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Mikayla Chadwick
Mikayla Chadwick

Mikayla Chadwick is a Melbourne-based writer, focused on human and legal rights, global affairs and popular culture. Mikayla holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree and is currently completing a research degree in sex work policy reform.

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