John F. Kennedy. President. Visionary. Meth head.
In a classy-as-fuck hotel in New York in 1962, a hotel where Marilyn Monroe sometimes strutted and slunk her way through the service tunnels to the suite of President John F. Kennedy for some side strange, a dude lost his shit in a ridiculous way.
After peeling off his clothes and "prancing around his hotel suite," he "left the suite and began roaming through the corridor." The guy was delusional, paranoid and suffering a "psychotic break" from meth.
He was, by all accounts, a meth addict.
Crazy part is: he came out of President Kennedy's suite.
Crazier part is: he was President Kennedy.
Turns out, America's president was a meth addict.
The famous leader, president from 1961 until he got smoked in a limo in Dallas in 1963, banged singers and actresses, won a Pulitzer Prize, and sent us racing to the moon, lived a frenetic life.
Some of that success and excess was meth-fueled. Like a modern-day tweaker breaking down boxes behind the grocery store 18 hours a day. Only with bigger goals.
Kennedy got his meth from a physician named Max Jacobson. Kennedy's bodyguards came to call Jacobson "Dr. Feelgood." A book called "Dr. Feelgood" tells his story.
Jacobson was the drug provider to the stars, slinging product not just to JFK, but to his wife Jackie, Marilyn Monroe, and lots of other politicians, sports stars and celebrities from Truman Capote to Mickey Mantle. Half of the East Coast's upper crust was juiced by Dr. Feelgood. And he affected history. He influenced JFK's handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis — in which we almost got nuked — by shooting up Kennedy right before his high-wire phone calls with the Russians.
Dr. Feelgood, born in 1900 in Germany, was an experimenter. He mixed meth with animal products, supplements and hormones and tested them on pets, patients and himself. His stellar concoction — the one he needled Kennedy with — was a combo of meth and goat and sheep's blood.
The book claims that Dr. Feelgood, a jew, gave his speedy potions to the Nazis, who fed them to their soldiers, amping them up to Berzerker-level during combat.
Dr. Feelgood fled the Nazis to America, where he served up crystal to famous names like Nelson Rockefeller, Ingrid Bergman and Rod Serling, who wrote "The Twilight Zone," possibly while in a twilight zone of his own.
In 1960, Dr. Feelgood met Kennedy. A war hero, Kennedy's back and muscles ached. Dr. Feelgood fixed him right up. (Or at least masked the pain.) One night, Doc shot meth right into the president's magic voice box on the night of the famous Kennedy-Nixon debate. Kennedy wiped the floor with Tricky Dick. (Dick later launched the War on Drugs to outlaw things like meth. If he'd only known that it can actually make you an okay president.)
Of course, meth is also a nightmare. Discovered in the 1920s, it became a go-to pep pill by the 1950s, before folks figured out it causes premature aging, addiction, festering face sores that hinder your Tinder game, and the desire to clean your apartment at 3:00 a.m. when you actually need to sleep.
But we still use meth for legit reasons — only now we use meth's very close cousin, Adderall. Columbia University psychiatry professor Carl Hart said in an interview with MSNBC's Chris Hayes recently that “It’s the exact same drug, the only difference is that methamphetamine has a methyl group attached to it. Adderall, compared to methamphetamine, has very similar effects.”
Adderall is mentioned in most college valedictorians acceptance speeches — or else it should be. The new Netflix doc Take Your Pills documents how many college students are little amphetamine addicts. Lots.
At first, the president didn't know what the Doc was pushing. When his brother, Bobby Kennedy, investigated and found out it was meth, the President said, “I don’t care if it’s horse piss. It makes me feel good.”
Sometimes too good.
Which brings us back to that night in 1962 in the shmantzy hotel. Dr. Feelgood shot JFK with too much meth, which sent him jouncing naked through the halls.
“He was completely naked, on the verge of paranoia and feeling so free of pain that he almost wanted to perform gymnastic acts in the hallway,” write the authors of "Dr. Feelgood." “The Secret Service detail had to control him, but can you put a president in a straightjacket?”
They called a psychiatrist, who convinced the prez to take an antipsychotic drug, and he trilled. Put his pants back on. Probably went back to cheating on his wife. All was back to normal.
Kennedy was killed the next year, and Dr. Feelgood lost his license in 1975 after a newspaper exposed he was basically a drug kingpin with a prescription pad. The "Drug Dealer to the Stars" died in 1979.
Today, Adderall sells on the street for about $5 a pill. Some future president is probably on one right now.