Anyway, discussion of drug use is now de rigeur, thanks to the fact that so many of our elected officials went to college during the hazy days of the 1960s and 1970s. (Not to be confused with the hazy days of the 1990s and 2000s.) Over the weekend, the Boston Globe dove deep into former Florida governor Jeb Bush's high school days; on Sunday, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee reminded us all that he doesn't even drink. (That comment is not the one that made the most headlines.)
As a public service, then, we offer this Relatively Comprehensive Guide to 2015 Candidates' Substance Use Told With Emojis, which is explained pretty comprehensively by that title. Often, emerging candidates haven't yet been asked "the question"; at other times, the focus has been on marijuana, because of its role in current public policy. At other times, we have only the word of longtime acquaintances. Hence: relatively comprehensive. If you have photos of some 2016 candidate buying cocaine from someone or something, feel free to pass them along.
Key: Faded icons indicate no evidence one way or the other. Slightly faded icons indicate a rumor. Brightly colored icons mean we know with confidence about a candidate's drug or alcohol use (or lack thereof).
Vice President Biden (D)
The vice president is a "lifelong teetotaler," thanks to having witnessed members of his family's struggles with alcohol.
Former president George W. Bush (R)
Bush no longer drinks alcohol, after having struggled with it in his younger years. In his second term, he offered hints that he had used marijuana -- if not cocaine -- in the past, but that hasn't been confirmed.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R)
In that Globe piece, Bush cops to it: "I drank alcohol and I smoked marijuana when I was at Andover," he told reporter Michael Kranish. A friend from high school says the two used to smoke hash together while listening to terrible 1970s rock.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R)
Former president Bill Clinton (D)
Clinton has tried to rewrite history on the "I didn't inhale" comment, in favor of being more honest. He drank alcohol as president, including reportedly drinking vodka shots after meeting Vladimir Putin.
Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton (D)
Clinton has had more than one photo op with a beer in her hand. On pot, her past differs from her husband's. "I didn't do it when I was young," she said last year, and "I'm not going to start now."
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.)
Update: And Cruz copped to trying weed in a statement to the Daily Mail Online.
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R)
Huckabee, a Southern Baptist, doesn't drink.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R)
Jindal also doesn't drink.
President Obama (D)
The president described his drug use in his book, "Dreams From My Father," including cocaine. Obama's high school marijuana use was reportedly prodigious, bringing the term "Choom Gang" into the national lexicon.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
Update: A reader pointed out that Paul also seems to have messed around with nitrous oxide in college, according to people he went to school with. "The high jinks reported by others make my college experience sound way more adventuresome than it actually was," he said, which is hardly a denial.
Former Texas governor Rick Perry (R)
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
Rubio drinks, and apparently has for a while; in his 2012 book "An American Son," he describes sneaking onto the Biltmore Hotel's golf course in high school, which "offered the perfect hiding spot for underage beer drinking."
On the subject of marijuana, he has been more cagey. He won't say whether he has smoked it, insisting that he doesn't want to undermine his position as a role model.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
Sanders told New York Magazine that in 1968, "I smoked marijuana, but was never part of the drug culture. That wasn’t me."
Former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.)
Santorum's background might surprise you. At Penn State, he was apparently known as "Rooster" and liked to drink beer. He was a member of a fraternity that was known for smoking marijuana, but no one has come forward to say that he did so.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R)
Walker is the governor of Wisconsin, meaning that drinking beer is essentially a job requirement. He drank in college, too.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
Warren is not the liberal you might expect her to be. Her favorite beers include Bud Light and Michelob Ultra. Well, and Sam Adams, but that may just be pandering to her base.
Again: We are happy to bolster this story with any evidence you might wish to provide to us. If you prove that one of these candidates is, say, an international drug dealer or something, you will get a prominent mention in our Pulitzer acceptance speech.