President Barack Obama cracked a joke about his former cannabis use during the final White House Correspondents Dinner of his presidency, earning several seconds of cheers and laughs from the audience.
The president set the joke up by discussing his rising approval ratings during the final year of his presidency. “And yet somehow, despite all this, despite the churn, in my final year, my approval ratings keep going up,” he said. “The last time I was this high, I was trying to decide on my major.”
See below to watch the segment for yourself.
Jokes like these, particularly when coming from the President of the United States, are a sign of cannabis normalization.
President Obama has famously admitted to both smoking and enjoying marijuana despite its ongoing prohibition, and in a 2014 interview with The New Yorker acknowledged, much to everyone’s surprise, that cannabis is safer than alcohol. It’s a far shot away from previous presidents’ admissions about their cannabis use, particularly Bill Clinton’s infamous “I didn’t inhale” remark.
The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is an annual event where journalists, politicians and celebrities gather for a roasting of prominent figures and news stories. The president’s speech this year touched on the raucous presidential race — front runner candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump did not show up to the event; Bernie Sanders, however, did.