By the Ol’ OB Hippie
Does the Pope smoke dope? Does Pope Francis imbibe in the inhalation of medicinal cannabis?
No, really – I wanted to know if the Pope smoked dope. I have heard rumors to that effect – for years actually. And I wanted to find out.
I knew he was coming to the U.S., so I had to figure out a way to meet up with him.
So, I finally answered one of those emails from President Obama about coming to the White House to shake hands and get in one of those photo ops. He – they – said they’d fly me out to Washington, DC. And I agreed to do it.
Lo and behold, my airline ticket arrived for a flight to DC, along with a White House Pass. I was jumping – finally a chance to meet the Pope and pose the query.
I flew in, met the shuttle and arrived near the White House. Wow! DC was a mess – thousands were massing to see Francis – the most liberal pope in a generation or two – and traffic was grid-locked all over the place. Finally I talked my way into the press bus – I had an official OB Rag Media badge – and took a seat along with the rest of the corps. I had my notepad and several writing pens – along with my camera.
But most importantly, I had my Vape Pen with me. As I am a legitimate medical marijuana patient, I carry my Vape Pen around with me in order to take a quick drag now and then. And it was the Vape Pen I planned to share with the Pope.
Fortunately, I traded my White House Pass for a Media Pass to the Capitol Building, where I knew the Pope was going to address Congress and those thousands who were massing outside.
As the media crowd flowed into the Capitol building, it met up with another flow of humanity – those who were surrounding Pope Francis and his flowing ropes.
It was crazy – a good crazy – people were all smiles as the Pope – who is a whooping 78! – beamed – he had a certain sway over everyone.
In the crush I did manage to get very close to him and his interpreter. Suddenly, Secret Service agents or Capitol police appeared and attempted to corral the crowd. And in the most fortuitous moment in my history, the three of us – me, the Pope, and his interpreter – popped into a small ante room off the main corridor.
I couldn’t believe it. But this was my opportunity, indeed.
I didn’t know how to address him. I’m an atheist, so I’m not going to say “Your Holiness”. He turned and smiled at me. I think he thought I was a homeless guy. Do I call him “Pontiff”?What?
“Francis,” I managed to say, “would you like to share in my medical cannabis?” I pulled my Vape Pen out and offered it to him.
The interpreter started to move toward me, but Francis raised his hand to gently block him. With his other hand – and without missing a beat, I have to say – he took my offering, hit the button while placing it in his usually pontificating mouth and pulled on the slender cigarette-looking object.
He handed it back. I started to ask him questions and we jived for a few solid, golden moments. But in those moments, we exchanged views over a myriad of issues. I was also busy taking notes.
Pope Francis told me:
“A political society endures when it seeks to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk.”
I strained to listen to his English. He spoke about immigration, how his parents had immigrated to South America. He spoke lovingly about the poor and the homeless, how modern society is criminalizing the homeless and homelessness.
Pope Francis talked to me almost in a closet whisper how we can no longer put off the crisis in global weather change onto the shoulders of our children and grandchildren.
“Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society?”
I hunched my shoulders. I handed him the Vape back.
“Sadly,” he answered his own question,”the answer as we all know is simply for money – money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. It’s our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.”
Francis moved to the death penalty. “Recently, my brother bishops here renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. I support them. I offer encouragement to all those who ….”
There was a banging on the door.
But his last comment about his brother bishops reminded me.
“Francis,” I almost pleaded, ” what about women bishops? And what about the role of women in the church? And women’s control of their bodies …?”
The interpreter looked nervous.
“And you know, Francis,” I said, “there’s a lot of pissed off people in California – especially the native peoples – about this canonization thing with Father Serra.”
The door was opening. The interpreter grabbed his holiness. But Francis leaned close – took one more puff off the Vape and whispered:
“We will be cracking down on those pedophile priests – but we cannot talk openly about it – just yet.” He smiled and winked at me.
I then asked:
“What about your predecessor – you’re so much more …?”
Before I could finish, Francis while being pulled by the interpreter said over his shoulder, with a chuckle – and small cough – “Oh, that Nazi !…..” and then he disappeared into the main hall.
I was stunned – and slightly in shock. The Pope does smoke dope. But, damn! I thought. No one will believe me.