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Bill Maher Lights Up Joint During 'Real Time' Rant

By McCarton Ackerman 02/16/16

The outspoken marijuana advocate has taken his activism to the next level by toking it up on his TV show. 

Bill Maher Lights Up Joint During 'Real Time' Rant
HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher

Bill Maher went on a seven-minute rant about marijuana legalization during last Friday’s episode of Real Time With Bill Maher, but truly created a spark by lighting up a joint at the end of the segment.

During his “New Rules” rant, Maher argued that medical marijuana should not be legal on a state-by-state basis. He declared that, “when I leave Colorado, Oregon, Washington or Alaska, my back pain doesn’t go away. Or whatever it is I have. I’m kidding. I use medical marijuana because my third eye has glaucoma. In fact, it’s acting up right now.” Maher then lit up a marijuana joint and smoked it to the applause of the studio audience. He later clarified that it was a legal stunt because they were on private property and he has a medical marijuana card.

Maher opened the segment by attempting to debunk the belief among marijuana advocates that nationwide legalization of pot is inevitable.

“You hippies need to get your head out of your grass,” he said. “Progress just doesn’t just automatically snowball. Think of all the other rights we never thought we’d get rolled back.” Maher cited the drastic reduction of marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, which has dropped from nearly 700 in 2013 to just under 130 in April 2015. He also noted that “we still don’t have a major politician who will simply say, ‘Legalize it nationally. Period.’”

He argued that a marijuana-legal America in a similar model to gay marriage won’t happen because “with gay marriage, no one stood to lose money if it passed.” Maher expressed that “the War on Drugs keeps billions flowing to DEA agents and prisons,” then went on to state that pot isn’t legal because it “would mean Americans had an alternative to altering their mood with Oxycontin and Budweiser.” Because of that, he believes that Congress has gone out of their way to leave marijuana up to individual states and won’t do their part to help.

“Somehow, this is the year that everything from socialism to mass deportation is on the table and voters love the authentic guys who speak their minds,” said Maher. “But when it comes time for Congress to consider common-sense pot legislation, it’s like smoking a joint with Woody Harrelson; they just won’t pass it.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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