Strange things have been happening at governors' mansions all around the country. Last year, South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges fired the state's prison chief following a widely publicized guards-and-sex scandal that included inmates having sex at the governor's residence while he was away. In the aftermath of that episode, a pair of former South Carolina governors recalled other embarrassing incidents involving trusties and alcohol. Meanwhile, similar cavortings were occurring in South Dakota, where two female work-release inmates held a drugs-and-sex party with two men while their supervisor was off planning his mother's funeral.

The latest bizarre incident occurred in Colorado, where state workers recently removed from the governor's garden a knee-high plant that looked for all the world like cannabis.

The plant had been spotted by the news editor of the Colorado Springs Independent and quickly attracted a fair amount of media attention. The Colorado State Patrol tested the plant and declared that, while it was clearly a weed it wasn't THE weed. Other area botanists who got a sniff of the leaves begged to differ.

Regardless of the plant's smokability, spokesmen for Colorado Governor Bill Owens were quick to point out that neither he nor the staff were "growing their own." Owens has a tough-on-drugs record--he called a medical marijuana program approved by voters last year "absurd and wasteful"--and doesn't even use the mansion except for ceremonial events.