Bill Maher Debates Patrick Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy & Bill Maher
Pot Talk: Patrick Kennedy and Bill Maher on ’Real Time.’

In this corner, one of the most liberal defenders of marijuana, Bill Maher. In the other corner, former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, who heads the anti-pot group, SAM. The two faced off last night on Real Time. Here are the higlights:

Maher: Your group is called Smart Alternatives, but I'm sorry I don't think they're smart. You say marijuana destroys the brain and expedites psychosis. It sounds like you've been hanging around with Nancy Reagan in 1983.

Kennedy: I used to have your position. I used to think marijuana was no big deal… But then I learned about the truth of this. And I learned about the fact if you give a permissive environment you're going to have more kids use.

Maher: Oh, come one. Man, come on, man. This is like global warming denying. This is the kind of stuff we heard years and years ago… It just seems so un-Kennedy-like to be against what I said a couple of weeks ago was the new gay marriage. The next civil-rights movement is to get equality under the law for people…

Kennedy: I don't believe people ought to be incarcerated because of an addiction… All I want is for the people to know the truth.

Maher: But you want marijuana users to go into rehab. You want to overload a system…

Kennedy: That's not true. I want the facts out. I think if they knew the facts I think they'd be alarmed… The facts are if you legalize you'll have greater use.

Maher: You still haven't proved to me why that's a bad thing.

Kennedy: If we care about kids' healthy development why do we want to add a new drug?

Maher: it's hardly a new drug.

Watch the segment here.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.