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Why Do People Think The Kennedy Family Was Secretly Growing Marijuana?

Updated March 12, 2019 5.8k views8 items

Rumor has it that the Kennedys were into weed. The secrecy of the Kennedys adds to the fascination with the famous family and JFK was certainly no stranger to drugs. Recently, there has been a lot of speculation about whether or not JFK smoked marijuana and if there was actually a weed patch on the grounds of the Kennedy compound. Given the numerous medicinal uses of marijuanaJFK's health problems could have been a factor if either of these things are true, but maybe he just liked to get high. 

  • Jackie Kennedy's Assistant Noticed Members Of The Family Hanging Out At One Particular Spot In The Garden

    Kathy McKeon, former Kennedy nanny and assistant to Jackie, recounts finding marijuana growing on the Kennedy compound in Massachusetts. McKeon, who worked for the Kennedys for 13 years, got curious when she saw members of the family spending a lot of time at a flower patch. She thought that maybe they were sneaking illicit substances, so she decided to check it out for herself.

  • Photo: Jennifer Martin / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    McKeon Enlisted Help And Went To Investigate

    She asked former Cape Cod police chief Jack Dempsey to accompany her and he confirmed that it wasn't flowers that were growing at the spot - it was a familiar green plant that just so happens to be illegal in most states. 

  • Jackie Was Worried About The Family's Reputation If Word Got Out

    Once Dempsey and McKeon figured out what the plants were, they decided to tell Jackie Kennedy immediately. Once she was informed, Mrs. Kennedy reportedly said "Are you kidding me? Oh my God, this can’t get out. What should we do?" Jackie then went to the patch to take a look.

  • Photo: Cecil W Stoughton / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    No One Knows Who Planted It

    McKeon never knew who planted the pot but could eliminate some suspects. Caroline and John, Jr. would have been too young and, given her surprise, it wasn't Jackie. She figured it was some of the cousins but no one was ever blamed and no one got in trouble.