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.