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Why Bill Maher Wants the Media to Stop Asking Politicians if They’ve Tried Cannabis

February 26, 2015

Political comedian and cannabis enthusiast Bill Maher ended last week's Real Time episode with a final "New Rule" about marijuana. He called upon ending the "media ritual" of asking presidential candidates if they've "ever smoked pot." Why? Because according to Maher, "the answer is always 'yes', and nobody cares."

Maher also took certain politicians to task for admitting that they've tried cannabis when they were "young and stupid," which is "no big deal," countering with, "…which is great…except that's not a defense that's not really available for most of the 700,000 Americans who get arrested every year." He has a point — it's insulting when politicians openly admit that they tried cannabis, using the "youthful indiscretion" excuse, but once appointed to office, they use their power to incarcerate young people for the same "youthful indiscretions," leaving a permanent black mark on their records that will follow them around for the rest of their lives, affecting potential job opportunities and their financial future. As Maher so aptly put it, "Don't [politicians who have admitted to trying cannabis when they were younger] all owe a debt to the 40,000 unlucky Americans currently in jail for the exact same crime?"

The comedian finished "New Rules" by urging President Obama to "evolve" his public stance on cannabis and acknowledge that imprisoning people for non-violent drug offenses was a "giant mistake in the first place" and use his presidential pardon to free them.

Hear hear, Bill Maher. Watch the segment below:

Image credit: "BillMaherSept10" by Angela George. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.