Ron Paul to Bill Maher: America's War on Drugs must end
Congressman Ron Paul is the most conservative, grandfatherly man to ever be admired by America's marijuana enthusiasts. On Friday night's episode of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, he reminded those who may have been suffering an impaired short-term memory at that late hour why, exactly, they should like him.
Speaking live from Clute, Texas, the libertarian-leaning Republican did what few other members of Congress will and openly called for the United States' War on Drugs to be abolished.
"What about when FDR came to office in '33," asked Maher. "One of the first things he did was repeal prohibition. He said we can't afford this anymore. Well, we have prohibition in this country. ... When he was making radical changes he said look, we're serious now. We're going to make serious changes and people like liquor."
"Well, in this country, people like pot," said Maher to a wave of cheers and applause. "If we ended that prohibition, that would be a giant pooling of money."
"I don't like pot," said the congressman. "But I hate the drug war, so I would repeal all of prohibition. But, I wouldn't even bother taxing it. People have the right in a free country to make important decisions on their own lives. If they want to make mistakes, they can. They just can't come crawling to the government to get bailed out or taken care of if they get sick.
"I believe in freedom of choice in all that we do, as long as the individual never hurts anybody else. So that means I would get rid of all the federal laws. I would dispose with the drug war. We're spending tens, if not hundreds of billions of dollars on this, then we march into places like California, override state laws, arrest sick people and put them in prison."
"It makes no sense whatsoever," he insisted.
"Amen, stoner," joked Maher.
This video is from HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, broadcast Feb. 20, 2009.
Download video via RawReplay.com
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the figure Paul mentioned that the US spent on drug wars.
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