HBO’s Bill Maher on Tuesday blasted President Barack Obama over his administration’s decision to ramp up prosecutions of medical marijuana dispensaries.
“This is one place where Obama has been such a dismal failure and a liar,” Maher said during an interview with The Huffington Post’s new HuffPost Live video streaming channel.
“Now, we all understand why the first black president couldn’t get into the White House and immediately go, ‘Hey, let’s spark it up.’ I’m hopeful in the second term when he has nothing to fear in the future, he can be honest about this issue the way that he finally became honest about gay marriage and certain other issues. He’s come around.”
“My hope is in the first year [of his second term], he’s going to admit that, yes, pot should be legal,” Maher added. “And in the last year he’s going to admit, no he’s not really a Christian, he’s an atheist.”
Attorney General Eric Holder announced in 2009 that he would keep Obama’s campaign promise of no longer raiding medical marijuana clubs and dispensaries that were operating within state laws. Since that time, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has taken a series of actions against legal medical marijuana businesses, including Oaksterdam University, which teaches students how to grow pot.
Americans for Safe Access (ASA) claims that more dispensaries have been shut down under Obama than under former President George W. Bush.
“We’re not going to have legalized weed anytime soon,” Obama told NBC’s Jimmy Fallon in April.
“What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana,” the president explained to Rolling Stone that same month. “I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana – and the reason is, because it’s against federal law. I can’t nullify congressional law. I can’t ask the Justice Department to say, ‘Ignore completely a federal law that’s on the books.’ What I can say is, ‘Use your prosecutorial discretion and properly prioritize your resources to go after things that are really doing folks damage.’ As a consequence, there haven’t been prosecutions of users of marijuana for medical purposes.”
Watch this video from Huffpo Live, broadcast Aug. 14, 2012.