“It’s everywhere,” says Mike, a young cop in Pittsburgh’s Zone Four, an urban area that runs from Brookline to Broadhead Manor, referring to the widespread use of illegal drugs, especially among kids. “My girlfriend even uses it. Almost every kid I stop, when I check their cigarettes, there’s marijuana in the pack,” he explains. “We don’t even arrest them anymore. I just break it up and throw it on the ground.”

“Marijuana’s a gateway drug, but they don’t see the danger,” he says. “If I try to talk to them, to give them some fatherly advice, they act like I’m the one who’s off base: ‘Come on,’ they say, ‘I can handle it. They do drugs at the White House.'”

Nationwide, marijuana use has more than doubled among 12- to 17-year-olds since Bill Clinton was elected. President Clinton denies any cause-and-effect, but when the leader of our country tells a teen-oriented audience on MTV that if he had to do it over he would not “just say no” but instead inhale, what lesson are kids to draw? Overall, illegal drug use has jumped by 55 percent between 1994 and 1995, reports the Household Survey on Drug Use, and monthly use of LSD and other hallucinogens has nearly tripled in the past four years.

Another example of the effect of White House ethics was seen late last year outside a New York jail, where newspaper photographers snapped the picture of a blind woman carrying a briefcase. It contained $50,000 in cash, bail money for her husband, Burton Pugach, age 69. Mrs. Linda Pugach was blinded by Mr. Pugach, a personal injury lawyer, in 1959. Burton was married to someone else at the time, and Linda was a single, pretty 25-year-old secretary who rebuffed his advances. Burton responded by hiring three thugs to throw lye in her face. “If I can’t have you, no one else will,” he said at the time. “When I get finished with you, no one else will want you.” The young secretary lost one eye and was declared legally blind in the other. After Pugach got out of prison, 14 years later, Linda married him.

Now, 59-year-old Linda was carrying her husband’s bail money. He’s accused of threatening to kill his latest mistress after she ended their five-year affair. He told prosecutors that his wife approved of the adultery: “She told me, ‘If President Clinton can do it, so can you.'” On the jail steps, reporters asked Linda Pugach how she felt about her husband. Her reply? “Did you call Hillary and ask her how she feels? Hillary isn’t asked to explain.”

New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan worries that American society is “defining deviancy down,” tolerating what’s intolerable. “We’ve become accustomed to alarming levels of crime and destructive behavior,” he says. “The result is a genera! acceptance of the abnormal as normal. We have been redefining deviancy so as to exempt much conduct previously stigmatized.”

This redefining of deviancy was never clearer than in the wake of the Dick Morris scandal. According to a Newsweek poll, 68 percent of respondents said that the presidential advisor’s “dealings with a prostitute wouldn’t make them less likely to vote for Clinton.” Most voters seemed unbothered that room service included toesucking and adultery. Newsweek reported that the “68 percent say it hasn’t made them doubt Clinton on family values.”

In 1992, Dick Morris told the Los Angeles Times that he knew he had tastes in common with Bill Clinton when he saw a sexy picture of Dolly Parton taped inside Clinton’s bathroom.

Two weeks before Christmas, New York Post columnist Liz Smith interviewed Sharon Stone. It turned out that one of Ms. Stone’s “big fantasies” during the holiday season was visiting the White House, where she’d like to run from room to cavernous room, “twirling Bill Clinton’s boxer shorts above mv head.”

We’re a long way from 1988, when Democratic hopeful Gary Hart was forced out of the presidential race after reporters spotted him on The Monkey Business in Bimini.