On Sunday, April 2, John Oliver devoted the main segment of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” to pot, or as Oliver calls it, “catnip for people.” Specifically he addresses the inconsistent laws around the country that lead to chaos for marijuana users and businesses, even in states where the drug has been legalized. Watch his analysis above.
“As it stands, 44 states now have some form of medical marijuana law, and eight have laws allowing recreational use, and that is good news,” Oliver explains. “The war on drugs was futile, expensive, and imposed overly harsh penalties especially on African-Americans … But the legality of marijuana is actually much more fraught than you may think.” That’s because of a disconnect between the states, where pot is becoming more accepted, and the federal government, which still criminalizes pot and classifies it as a Schedule I drug alongside heroin, LSD and the date-rape drug GHB. “Schedule II, a step down, features drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine. Marijuana is not a Schedule I any more than a hedgehog is an apex predator.”
The federal prohibition gets in the way of legal state businesses, which are consequently unable to work within the banking system, and are denied tax deductions. It also affects users, including Brandon Coats, whom Oliver profiles: Coats is a quadriplegic with a legal prescription for medical marijuana, but he was still fired by the Dish Network. President Barack Obama relaxed the federal restrictions against marijuana, but now he’s out of office and the new attorney general is Jeff Sessions, who has said, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
What do you think about Oliver’s latest segment. Watch it above, and discuss this and more with your fellow TV fans in our forums.
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