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“Real Time” host Bill Maher made a bold prediction Friday about Republicans “stealing” one of the Democrats’ most popular positions: the legalization of marijuana.
During Friday night’s “Overtime” segment on YouTube, Maher read a submitted audience question to his guest, former Attorney General Eric Holder, about why President Biden has pushed for the federal legalization of pot.
Holder responded by saying “it’s something we ought to do” for political benefit but also “deals with the reality.”
But Maher, an outspoken pot enthusiast, pivoted to the notion that the issue will abruptly swing in favor of Republicans.
“Republicans are gonna steal the issue. I think eventually,” Maher told Holder. “I mean, someone like John Boehner works for a marijuana company now. I mean, it could be one of those freedom issues. And, of course, Republicans smoke lots of pot too.”
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“Not enough,” Holder quipped, sparking laughter from the audience.
Holder added, “They need to mellow out just a little more.”
The HBO star pointed to legislation passed in the House and noted how Republicans opposed it because it has “too much stuff about equity in there.”
“Now I understand the impetus to want to, like, for example, if you’re gonna have new businesses that are legal in the marijuana field, yeah, they probably should go to the people who suffered the most during the drug war,” Maher said. “Republicans, of course, are saying this is a deal-breaker.”
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“What do you want, half a loaf? If they said okay, no equity, is it better to have the law passed or changed or is it better to hold out for equity?” Maher asked.
“It’s better to have the law changed,” Holder responded. “And as I said, deal with the societal reality that we have and, you know, and try to make it as equitable as you possibly can, but I wouldn’t want to stop the movement that I think makes sense for the sake of equity.”
Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner made waves in 2018 by announcing he was joining the board of the cannabis company Acreage Holdings and later became the chair of the pro-cannabis lobbying group National Cannabis Roundtable.
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In April, only three GOP lawmakers voted in favor of a bill that would have legalized marijuana nationwide, Florida Reps. Brian Mast and Matt Gaetz, who was a co-sponsor of the bill, as well as California Rep. Tom McClintock.
Only two Democrats, Reps. Henry Cuellar, Texas, and Chris Pappas, N.H., joined the other Republicans in opposition.