They Didn't Inhale

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Right-wing Republicans like California Rep. Bob Dornan have never shied from describing the Clinton White House as a den full of drug-using "hippies," and now they have more ammunition. House investigator probing "Filegate" on Wednesday released documents in which a former security official claims that some White House employees had used crack, cocaine and hallucinogens before starting their jobs in 1993. The Secret Service denied them passes, the official said, only to be promptly overruled by the Administration. According to an FBI transcript, Arnold Cole, a former supervisor of the Secret Service White House control operations, said the Service was concerned drug use could compromise White House Security. At first, Cole said, he denied passes to employees who had used drugs, some of them shortly before the checks. But after the White House instituted a voluntary drug-testing program in May 1994, the workers were issued passes. "The Republicans will probably try to use this," says TIME's Eric Pooley. "But, it is not likely to prove a decisive turning point. Drugs are a part of the culture, and voters know this. Besides, a Democratic administration attracts idealistic young people who grew up during the 1970's." Unless the GOP concocts an unusually clever way to exploit the issue, Pooley says, it mainly functions as campaign clutter. "It should be seen in the context of the scandal-a-week which plagues the Administration. The White House can't seem to find a clean week to put out their positive message, which is not great from a campaigning point of view." -->