Obama turns down Rocky Mountain high
By Ed Payne and Gabe LaMonica CNN | 7/9/2014, 3:27 p.m.
(CNN) -- "Do you want to hit this?" a man asked President Barack Obama in a bar in Denver Tuesday night. The president laughed but didn't indulge.
It wasn't the only time Obama was offered weed on his night out. That's apparently what happens in Colorado, which recently legalized recreational marijuana.
The man posted the exchange on Instagram for the world to see.
Obama has admitted to smoking pot as a young man. He was an active member of the "Choom Gang" in high school, which perfected all sorts of techniques for getting high.
The President has since spoken about those times in more serious settings, saying as recently as this year that he made "bad choices" without considering "the harm it could do."
Earlier in the evening, the presidential motorcade passed a bearded man holding a sign: "Free weed 4 Obama." A sign outside a marijuana dispensary offered the same thing. The motorcade didn't stop.
And Obama waving off the offers didn't seem to ruin the fun.
His boys' night out with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper at the bar the governor used to own consisted of, well, things that take place in bars.
"Did you see how many balls he still has on the table?" the President joked after a game of pool.
Hickenlooper had five, while the President sunk the 8-ball.
A patron offered to buy the President a beer.
"It's too late, man. I just got one," Obama said.
While Obama the bear was loose, the entire night was not all jovial.
A woman stopped the President, telling him that her brother died in Afghanistan four years ago.
Obama gave Kalynne May Arrick, from Tyler, Texas, a challenge coin usually reserved for veterans, who collect them. Her brother, Marine Sgt. Kenneth May, was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.
"I'm so sorry," he told Arrick, hugging her.
Presidential meet-and-greets rarely veer so far off script. By the time Obama sat down at a pizza joint with people who had written him letters, the President had loosened his blue tie and rolled up his sleeves.
A teacher, a couple who own a small business, a college student, and a furniture store worker sat Obama down at the head of a table crowded with plates and pizza trays.
"Where do you all want me?" asked the President.
"Right at the head of the table."
"Oh my goodness, that's so formal."
Later, he walked down the streets of downtown Denver, giving fist bumps, shaking hands and slapping high fives. He refused a selfie and resisted holding a cute baby.
But he did find himself shaking hands with a man in a horse mask.
"One onlooker wore a large horse head," the pool report on the visit said, "but it's unclear what message he hoped to convey."
Obama also stopped to talk with a father and son. The boy said he was a skateboarder.
"I see you got a little scab here," the President told him.
"You got scuffed up a little bit. That's alright. If you're 10 and you don't have a scab you're not having fun."
The President ended the night with a picture and a fist bump with a gorilla statue and was back at his hotel by 9 p.m.
Tuesday was just the first night of a three-day road trip. Obama is holding a fundraiser for Sen. Mark Udall Wednesday and will give a speech focused on the economy to promote his policies to help workers.
Then he'll head to Texas, which has been the center of a political sparring match between he and Gov. Rick Perry over the deluge of immigrant children crossing the border.
What can the Lone Star State possibly do to top one night in Denver? Immigration reform probably isn't going to do it.
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