With the upcoming midterm elections coming into focus, marijuana will remain an issue at the forefront of the discussion. But for an episode that aired on 4/20, Bill Maher asserted on Real Time that Democrats need to use cannabis rights as a catalyst to activate young voters.
“We can bring those jobs back from China, but they’re still gonna suck,” Maher joked. “You’re in an Amazon warehouse for eight hours with no one to talk to but the robots, you’re gonna want that vape pen.”
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The cantankerous Maher couldn’t resist taking a few shots at former Speaker of the House John Boehner, who announced he was joining the board of advisers at Acreage Holdings. Some wondered if it was just a money grab, but Maher joked about Boehner—who was famously a strident marijuana opponent—that if “you though Boehner cried a lot before, wait until he gets stoned and sees a sunset.”
Jokes aside, Maher argued that Democrats should wholeheartedly assume marijuana as a party issue. He compared the strategy to how Republicans use gun rights as a party stance and energize one-issue voters. Boehner’s move, in Maher’s opinion, represented that the right isn’t afraid to take on the issue if the left doesn’t first.
“Yes, we love weed the way Republicans love their guns. Every election, Republicans run on ‘They’re coming for your guns!’ We need to talk about weed that way and turn potheads into single-issue voters too,” Maher said. “And it should not be that hard because nobody is really coming for your guns, but Jeff Sessions really does want to take away your pot, for which there is no protection like the Second Amendment.”
Though some believe the youth vote will respond handedly in the midterm elections to support an anti-gun stance surging through young voters following school shootings, Maher argued otherwise. Being against guns isn’t a lifestyle, he pointed out, and one-issue voters respond most when legislation affects their lifestyles. That’s why marijuana represents a great political opportunity.
“Weed is a lifestyle. It’s not just something you have an opinion on, it’s in your home, it’s a passion, you like touching it,” Maher said. “Guns and pot—they have magazines about it and so do we. They have gun shops, we have dispensaries. They know the difference between automatic and semi-automatic, we know the difference between indica and sativa.”