Bill Maher Asks Kal Penn to Nudge Obama About Pot

Kal Penn on "Real Time" tells Bill Maher he’ll see what he can do about persuading Pres. Obama to change his tune about pot.

During an interview on Real Time, Bill Maher appealed to Kal Penn, known best to stoners as Kumar but who's actually worked in the White House, to talk to Pres. Obama about marijuana.

Kal Penn with ganja burgers in High Times in 2004.

Maher: When you see Obama, as half of the Cheech & Chong of your generation, ask him why he's so bad on the issue of pot. Because he was part of the Choom Gang (Penn cracks up laughing). He must know that there's a lot of people who can't vote, can't get housing, can't do a lot of things, get jobs because they have that on their record, that he could have on his record because of what he did. And that's just a hypocrisy I don't think he should be able to live with. Will you take that message to him?"

Penn: I may phrase it differently, but I'll see what I can do.

Maher: Otherwise I'm with him.

During the interview Maher notes how ironic it is that Penn, who played the stoner character Kumar in the three Harold & Kumar movies, doesn't smoke pot. This is not quite true. Penn asked this writer for several joints at the High Times Stony Awards in 2005, during which Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle was named Stoner Movie of the Year.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

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