Today, State Rep. Tarah Toohil acknowledged the photos of her with drug paraphernalia in anonymous YouTube video has been circling among staffers in Harrisburg for a week.
“Over a decade ago, I was one of the young women in some of those photos. However, I am not that young woman today,” she said in a response video (below) posted on her legislative accounty. “This is a blatant and personal attack against me as a legislator.”
Toohil, 33, is a freshman from Luzerne County. She ousted Majority Leader Todd Eachus in 2010 after switching to the Republican Party. She opposes the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana.
“If you’re a young person out there, I want to tell you that if you think that doing drugs is cool: it’s not. And if you think that doing drugs is OK, its not. The decisions that you make in life – good or bad – have an impact. Just be careful with the choices that you make.”
PoliticsPA tried unsuccessfully to contact the person who posted the video.
Here is Toohil’s response:
Why respond so openly? Toohil said she was genuinely concerned that the video could give young people the wrong idea, especially not her two daughters.
“It was about young people,” she said. “I’m one of the younger members of the House. I am a role model. And I want young people to know, if they think this is cool, it’s not cool. If they think this OK, it’s not OK.”
“This YouTube video will be around until the end of time. I wanted my response to be right up there till the end of time with it.”
PoliticsPA originally reported that Toohil was seen to be kissing another woman. A second look at the video shows that she was not one of the women kissing in the third photograph. PoliticsPA also changed the headline, originally “Toohil Responds to Photos Showing Her Drug Use,” as the images did not show Toohil actually using drugs.