If you missed the Feb. 12 episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, do yourself a favor and check out the video below. Bill made media history that night. He starts by relating how he's always being plied with proposals to go into the cannabis biz, cashing in on the growing legal market with "Maherijuana" or "Billy Buds." But then he goes into an admonition for his own team: "You hippies need to get your head out of your grass! Progress doesn't just automatically snowball." He notes the rollback of abortion rights over past generation, with hundreds of clinics shut down—and makes an analogy to the hundreds of dispensaries recently closed in Los Angeles. He quipped: "And dispensaries still can't get banking services, because they're too skeevy—the banks, not the dispensaries."
And despite the progress of recent years, "we still don't have a major politician who will say 'Legalize it nationally, period.'" He called out President Obama for saying that cannabis is "not very different than cigarettes," "no more dangerous than alcohol," but a "a bad habit." Griped Maher: "And this is what passes for support? Even though none of those statements are true. It's not a bad habit, it's a fantastic habit… unless, like anything, you overdo it." He noted that cannabis is not linked to lung cancer, and is "way, way, way less dangerous" than alcohol." He invoked the outrageous case of Raymond Schwab—a Desert Storm veteran who used cannabis to treat his PTSD, and had his kids seized by the state of Kansas after he relocated across the line to Colorado to get the stuff legally.
Pointing the the legacy of Jim Crow, Bill makes the very refreshing point: "States rights is always code for taking away rights." He argues that cannabis needs to be legal coast to coast. "When I leave Colorado or Oregon or Washington or Alaska, my back pain doesn't go away, or whatever I have." When this arouses chuckles, he adds: " I use medical marijuana because my third eye has glaucoma. In fact, it's acting up right now, maybe I should…, maybe I should treat it." He then lights up and takes a toke, in front of God and everybody. "This is private property and I do have a card. So…" Between coughs and giggles at the end, he concludes: "Please remember: Legalizing pot is a long way from a done deal."
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