Was Osama Bin Laden A Stoner?

By Adam K. Raymond 05/07/11

Osama's compound featured a lovely garden planted with potatoes, cabbage—and lots of weed.

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Growing bud at Bin Laden's base?
Photo via islamizationwatch

As details continue to surface about Osama bin Laden's life in his Club Med-like Pakistani compound (his lackeys regularly went to town to buy "a lot of food," he was particularly fond of Coke and Pepsi; he kept soccer balls that kids kicked over the fence), one little-noted detail in particular has caught our attention: Apparently Bin Laden was growing his own weed.

Now that Abbottabad, the Pakistani town in which bin Laden lived, has been transformed from a dusty suburb into a dusty media circus, reporters are looking in every dusty corner to discover new details about the world's most notorious terrorist... That's what led CNN's Nic Robertson to the garden attached to bin Laden's compound, where he found potatoes, cabbage—and a significant stash of marijuana. Of course, pot grows naturally in the region, where the scorching heat contributes to an ideal marijuana-growing climate. But that doesn't mean bin Laden didn't have a reason to grow his own. It has been rumored for years that bin Laden suffered from severe kidney problems, a condition that would have allowed him to get a prescription for medical marijuana in many American states.

But maybe the marijuana was just for recreational purposes. After all, it has been widely reported that the compound didn't have cable TV or internet access. In any case, expect anti-pot advocates to use this bit of news to their advantage, trying to convince kids that if you smoke weed, you'll turn into a terrorist.

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Adam K. Raymond covers politics and sports for New York Magazine. Visit Adam's website and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.