Among the vast array of rumors and hearsay that surround the late President John F. Kennedy’s legacy, one of the more persistent reports is that JFK was a frequent user of cannabis.
While there’s been anecdotal evidence over the years that Kennedy lit up to either pass the time with visiting female “friends” or therapeutically to combat his well-documented struggles with chronic back pain, there’s never been anything concrete.
The entire Kennedy brood was known for spending their off time lounging in Cape Cod, but just what exactly was going on behind some of those iconic fences? According to a new memoir from Kathy McKeon, who served for 13 years as Jacqueline Kennedy’s assistant, the First Lady made a surprising discovery one day in the garden of their famous Hyannis Port vacation home. Apparently, a secret cannabis grow had sprouted inside the family garden amongst flowers of the dramatically-less-fun variety.
McKeon’s new book, “Jackie’s Girl: My Life with the Kennedy Family,” offers a rarely-obtained peek behind the curtain of one of America’s most legendary families and provides a brand new clue as to how the iconic Kennedy clan may have hidden their alleged love of cannabis from the public eye.
By McKeon’s account, she was becoming aware of all the Kennedy cousins sneaking off to the garden with increasing frequency, something that seemed peculiar to Jackie O’s aide. Curious as to why a bunch of teenagers would be so obsessed with some seemingly ordinary flowers, McKeon dug a little deeper.
“I went to investigate after the kids wandered off one afternoon but didn’t see any evidence that they’d been back there sneaking beers or cigarettes or anything like that,” McKeon explained. “The flowers hadn’t been trampled.”
If the Kennedy cousins weren’t sneaking booze and bogeys into the secret garden, what exactly were they doing in there?
“That’s when it hit me,” added McKeon. “I went to find Jack Dempsey, the retired Cape [COD] police chief who often hung out at the Secret Service trailer.”
After tattling on the as-yet-unknown culprit to the retired officer, McKeon and Dempsey went to the garden to conduct a more thorough investigation for themselves. As soon as he laid eyes on the plants in question, Dempsey knew exactly what he was dealing with — some good old fashioned jazz cabbage.
The snitching was contagious, as Dempsey and McKeon immediately went to the First Lady with their findings. Once the initial shock of the discovery wore off, McKeon recalls that Jackie O’s instincts immediately went to protecting her family’s reputation.
“Are you kidding me? Oh my God, this can’t get out,” said the FLOTUS, according to McKeon. “What should we do?”
Dempsey had Secret Service agents yank the innocent plants from their rooted home, at which point the flowers in question surely went straight to the garbage.
We may never know for sure which Kennedy was the true cultivation culprit, but we salute them for being roughly five decades ahead of the home grow wave in Massachusetts. Turns out the Kennedy’s weren’t just ahead of the curve with their pastels and boat shoes but their psychoactive produce as well.