I was a teenage abstainer

Andrew Coyne: “The politician, in particular, who confesses to having not tried marijuana invites all sorts of doubts. People will question his ability to set a credible example for today's youth. I mean, what kind of loser would never have had even one toke? If he's been covering this up all this time, they will ask, how do we know we can trust him now? It's not just about marijuana, after all. People will want to know what other drugs he hasn't used. Cocaine? Ecstasy? Alcohol? Who wants a killjoy like that for a leader? ¶ Apart from the known health effects [of not smoking marijuana] -- loss of appetite, increased motivation, inability to concentrate on a single spot for more than two hours at a time -- police believe that not using marijuana can be a "gateway" to not using other drugs. Some may scoff, but I can tell you it has been my experience. It starts with a little "no, thank you." Pretty soon you're doing homework, running track, still kidding yourself that you can quit any time. Before you know it, you've joined the chess club.”