Has Malia Obama been expelled from Harvard for smoking marijuana? That’s the shocking claim made by a purveyor of so-called “fake news,” but it’s not true. Malia has not been expelled from Harvard for smoking pot or any other reason.
Earlier this month, the website America’s Last Line of Defense posted the salacious headline, “BREAKING: Malia Obama Expelled From Harvard.” The article went on to explain that she was expelled for smoking marijuana, as well as her fondness for partying.
“Malia Obama, who has decided that as an adult she wants to be a pot smoking, rap listening, twerking party girl, has been ousted from the student roster at Harvard University. The school’s chancellor, Malcolm Little, said that regardless of her status as a former first daughter, the rules are the rules and she won’t be welcome there this fall.”
At first glance, the article does seem to be at least plausible. Malia is planning on attending Harvard beginning in the fall of 2017, following a “gap year” between high school and college to intern at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, according to a May 2016 New York Times report. She’s also been rumored to have been involved in pot-related shenanigans before, and according to a 2016 New York Post report, she was photographed at Chicago’s Lollapalooza music festival smoking what appears to be a marijuana cigarette.
— Daily Buzz Mail (@dailybuzzmail) October 22, 2016
Plausibility aside, however, there’s no truth to the rumor that Malia was thrown out of Harvard for smoking pot. There are several reasons for this.
First, America’s Last Line of Defense admits, on its own website, that its articles are anonymously-sourced, satirical, or a combination of the two. In other words, “Fake News” like The Onion or Newslo or one of the hundreds of other websites that freely admit that their articles are satire and not meant to be taken literally.
“The Resistance may include information from sources that may or may not be reliable and facts that don’t necessarily exist. All articles should be considered satirical and any and all quotes attributed to actual people complete and total baloney. Pictures that represent actual people should be considered altered and not in any way real.”
Second, the article in question names Malcolm Little as Harvard’s Chancellor. Malcolm Little was the birth name of civil rights activist Malcolm X, and clearly, the writer of that article was making a joke. There is no Malcolm Little on the faculty or staff of Harvard, nor does Harvard even employ a Chancellor. Instead, they have a President, and her name is Drew Gilpin Faust.
Ben, Harvard’ın kadın rektörü değilim, rektörüyüm! Drew Gilpin Faust pic.twitter.com/8tkG8HFY6H
— Fatih AVCI (@FatihAVCl) April 3, 2017
Third, Harvard won’t throw you out for smoking pot. According to the Harvard College Handbook for Students, which anyone can read, their drug policy focuses less on strict enforcement and more on health and safety. Students caught with drugs will go through a series of increasingly punitive interventions before the subject of expulsion comes up.
“Ordinarily, students who are admitted to [on-campus health clinic] for alcohol intoxication, or for cases involving marijuana and/or other drugs, are referred for individual consultations.”
Fourth, and lastly, Malia Obama isn’t even enrolled at Harvard yet. She plans to begin her education there in the fall of 2017; a quick glance at the calendar indicates that that is months away from now. More than likely she is, as of this writing, currently working in Madrid, or vacationing with her family. She’s definitely not taking classes at (or getting thrown out of) Harvard.
The bottom line is Malia Obama has not been expelled from Harvard for smoking pot.
[Featured Image by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images]