Senator Rand Paul is now the proud owner of the ultimate smoking jacket: a custom-made, navy blue hemp blazer.
At a diner stop in Las Vegas on Friday, a fan of the senator’s surprised Mr. Paul with the blazer as a gift. It fit like a glove. And that was no coincidence.
The fan, Dannion Brinkley, said he had asked Mr. Paul’s staff for the right size, and they obliged. So when Mr. Paul, Republican of Kentucky, showed up to glad hand with voters, Mr. Brinkley was waiting.
Mr. Paul, of course, is a supporter of legalizing industrial hemp and has introduced legislation that would allow American farmers to cultivate and profit from the crop.
As the senator made his way around the diner, Mr. Brinkley took the jacket out of a plastic sheath, handed it to Mr. Paul and insisted that he try it on. Mr. Paul then went from table to table, shaking hands and chatting about everything from veterans care to the No Child Left Behind law.
“I’m not breaking any laws, am I?” he joked.
Then Mr. Paul remembered where he was. “This is Vegas, baby!”
Mr. Brinkley said in an interview that he had to get the jacket from Romania because it is illegal to trade in hemp in the United States. He told Mr. Paul that he wished the jacket had been made in America.
Still, Romanian hemp, Mr. Brinkley said, has its good qualities. “It’s the silkiest,” he said.