Jimmy Kimmel Confronts President Obama Over Marijuana Legalization

  • by Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator April 29, 2012
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    “Marijuana is something that real people care about.” — Jimmy Kimmel (forward to 21:50 or click here)

    Late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel performed at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and took a moment to confront President Obama on his marijuana crackdown.

    I do have one real question for you, Mr. President.  What’s with the marijuana crackdown?  I mean, seriously, what’s the concern, we will deplete the nation’s Funyun supply?

    You know, pot smokers vote, too.  Sometimes a week after the election, but they vote.

    Let’s take a quick poll.  I would like everyone in this room to raise your hand if you’ve never smoked pot.

    Raise your hands if you've never smoked pot.

    [Very few hands go up.]  Heh heh.  There you go.  Look at Brit Hume – he’s high right now.  He’s on his fourth almond macaroon.

    Mr. President, I hope you don’t think I’m out of line here, but marijuana is something that real people care about.  The fact that you believe Speaker Boehner when he tells you he still has control of his party leads me to believe that you must be smoking some crazy great weed yourself.

    Woody Harrelson just woke up.

    Thank you, Jimmy Kimmel, for exemplifying how a cannabis consumer can be polite yet direct in calling on the president to explain a policy that is no longer supported by a majority of Americans.  Half of this country supports outright legalization of marijuana and three-quarters think marijuana punishments, if any, should be no more than ticketable offenses, not crimes.

    185 Responses to “Jimmy Kimmel Confronts President Obama Over Marijuana Legalization”

    1. Sissy says:

      So…to answer a few things I’ve seen…

      Marijuana does NOT cause lung cancer. In fact…THC has been found to KILL cancer cells.
      As to the job losses if we legalize. Closing a bunch of prisons that shouldn’t have been built to start with…GOOD. Yes, that means the workers would have to find other jobs. So maybe they could turn the prison into a factory…that actually makes money by MAKING something…instead of making money on human misery!

    2. Robert Delaney says:

      @jazzmin: So, lets continue to incarcerate people unjustly in order to create job security for cops and prison workers? Brilliant!

    3. BigPerk says:

      jazzmin, I am sure you mean well by your statement, but, those jobs need not be lost. Instead they could refocus their efforts and arrest crack and heroin DEALERS and still have plenty of full jails and work for the police to do. Part of the reason they dont seem to put the effort into such things is, some of those folks WILL shoot back. MOST pot dealers wont, even WHEN confronted with time in jail. If that isnt enough, they could jail these folks on wallstreet who STEAL all the time and who’s punishment usually is a loss of employment and a fine at worst. (Of course they still might recieve their last years multi million dollor bonus to use for commisary) Dont you worry, there is PLENTY of crimes to go around that dont involve the use of marijuana.
      As for the initial title of this thread, well, YOU GO JIMMY!!! That was great! We need more and more celebrities, and better yet, those with established credentials and better yet if they are not smokers of the herb to say its only common sense not to jail a person at a cost of $60/grand a year plus over a $300 oz of weed. We dont have this money to spend and I often wonder how much the government could save on a yearly basis if they were just to release any who are arrested for possesion or small sales (non organized types) and stop the enforcement and policing of marijuana based “crimes”. I bet it would go a long way towards helping to save this countries financial woes. So no matter how one wants to look at it, I would think it should consider serious discussion. Let Freedom Reign!

    4. ben says:

      Ramond do better research before you speak. You do not have to smoke it to get its effects.

    5. Dro_Blayzer says:

      Jazzmin: Your comment sounds more dumb than a politician! So you’re saying that we should all help the cops & jail workers keep their jobs by all of us going to jail to support them? You’re saying forget that this is a helpful plant, let it stay illegal so they have jobs, so that INNOCENT people just trying to get better will have to suffer and die in jail so that someone else will get a paycheck?

      Raymond: Thanks to some (not much) research, we have found that there are other ways to medicinally use cannabis other than smoking. And if you ever bothered to read, CBD (one of the main positive compounds in cannabis) actually KILLS cancerous cells, including lung cancer.

    6. Mike says:


      Please tell me where you found your information that states marijuana smoke can kill you. Certainly in the thousands of years of smoking the herb, if that is the case, someone would have died from it. I suggest you not speak about issues on which you are clearly ignorant.

    7. Frank from UF says:

      Good call, Raymond. We should illegalize anything that can kill you. First we need to make sugar illegal, as it’s the leading cause of diabetes and countless other ailments. Then let’s get rid of cars and planes, those are dangerous. Hell, let’s outlaw water because thousands of people drown every year.

      Your logic is bad, and you should feel bad.

    8. Ryan says:

      It’s idiots like Raymond who don’t realize that Marijuana can be eaten as well. For those who don’t like to smoke it.

    9. Randy says:

      Guess what Raymond you don’t have to smoke marijuana you can cook many good meals and use it as an ingredient to medicate. You can also vaporize it which gets rid of the harms of smoking. So I suggest putting a little research into things before you spout ignorance.

    10. Joker says:

      Tobacco smoking causes cancer. Cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells, not cause them. There has never been a documented case of a cannabis consumer contracting lung cancer as a direct result of cannabis consumption. Further more cannabis can be vaporized, taken orally, turned into tincture, or injected. In over 10,000 years of use no one has ever died of a cannabis overdose. The LD-50 (Lethal dose) is approximately 1500LBS in less than 20 minutes, a physical impossibility. Please research the subject before posting ludicrous, ignorant statements. IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS!!

    11. Sarah says:

      Raymond: there are MANY ways to consume THC without smoking it or doing anything else to cause bodily harm, such as eating or taking a pill.

    12. Joel: the other Joel says:

      Wow…..that was a great diplomatic wake up call for both political parties. It would wake me up for sure.

      It was amazing how Jimmy Kimmel got everyone to think about marijuana in a positive way and got the laugh back at Obama.

    13. Striker says:

      It’s called using a vaporizer or using edibles. Smoking is not the only way of using marijuana, I agree smoking anything will cause lung damage and possibly cancer in the future. Marijuana is instantly associated with smoking when there are plenty of other ways to use it.

    14. chris says:

      Hey Raymond, smoking is just one form of ingestion, educate yourself. Tobacco and alcohol and prescription pills kill more per day than pot ever has…

    15. […] Jimmy Kimmel Confronts President Obama Over Marijuana Legalization “Marijuana is something that real people care about.” — Jimmy Kimmel (forward to 21:50 or click here) Late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel performed at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and took a moment to confront President Obama on his marijuana crackdown. I do have one real question for you, Mr. President.  What’s with the marijuana crackdown?  I mean, seriously, what’s the concern, we will deplete the nation’s Funyun supply? You know, pot smokers vote, too.  Sometimes a week after the election, but they vote. Let’s take a quick poll.  I […] […]

    16. Herp Derp says:

      Marijuana may lead to lung cancer but there have been very few reports of it due to the fact people dont chain smoke marijuana in the way people chain smoke cigarettes

    17. Anonymous says:

      Raymond….do your research its not just pot heads that are for leagalization and cigarettes are legal and cause lung cancer marijuana has been found to help with asthma…you can get lung cancer from anything there are people that haven’t smoked a day in their life and they get lung cancer…alcohol causes more harm on your body than pot and that’s legal…prescription drugs cause more harm and a can be addictive and those are legal…so why shouldn’t something that is 100% natural has no addatives like chemicals and other shit that cigarettes and alcohol and prescrption drugs do…people do your research before saying is only stoners that are for legalization quit being so close minded!

    18. Raymonds mother says:


      There are many ways to intake marijuana. Vaporizing and cooking it is far more healthy and does not cause lung cancer. Your argument is invalid as well since tobacco is legal and it has way worse health effects than smoking marijuana. Go troll somewhere else.

    19. Rob Reitz says:

      you anti weed people are idiots… cigs cause cancer, not illegal…. alcohol causes widespread death, not illegal…. you anti weed peeps, most of you are drunks…war on drugs is lost… screw the people that would be put out of business for something that is unconstitutional in the first place and screw every one of you who want to control what I do with my body… (I dont get high by the way…. all it does is make me tired and paranoid)… but if I wanted to it’d be none of your f’n business dommasses….

    20. Derek says:

      Surely this Raymond guy is trolling, right?? Surely nobody can truly be that misinformed and ignorant, right??

    21. Jonnie says:

      “In case any of you pot heads have forgotten MARIJUANA is a smoke and smoking can lead to lung cancer..Count on pot heads to push to legalize some thing that can kill you..”

      typical words from an uniformed supporter of an archaic position regarding cannabis. cannabis can be consumed in a variety of ways which do not require combustion.

      furthermore, the ban on cannabis is illegal insofar as it restricts the 1st Amendment rights to freedom of religion. This extends to have negative 14th Amendment consequences regarding rights to Due Process.

      De-criminalization is not a ‘favor’ that more than half of Americans are in support of; rather, decriminalization is a Constitutional Right – and it would do us good to demand that this right be restored. Good job Jimmy Kimmel…

    22. hanspy says:

      Maybe you dont know.Marijuana is a plant that can cure cancer.You also can eat it.You can make butter,bread,oil,and many other products from it.ALL healthy.And there ZERO deaths from the use and abuse from Cannabis. Stupid ppl can kill you to and for me your 1 of them.

    23. hypocrite says:

      @Raymond: Are you suggesting smoking tobacco should be illegal? Or just all things that can kill you should be illegal?

      Alcohol can lead to liver cancer, should that be illegal as well?

    24. Chris P. says:

      @Raymond of course you can’t be bothered to name a person that has died from only useing marijuana let alone any facts to back up your bullshit statement. Even if your premise was true their are so many other ways to consume marijuana rathher then just “smoking”. Count on prohibitionists to regurgitate stupid bullshit without any facts.

    25. Stephanie says:

      Thank you Jimmy Kimmel! Americans are being ignored

    26. Scott says:

      Raymond, marijuana is not a smoke it is a plant. It can be smoked but can also be vaporized with minimal impacts to respiratory function and overall health. It can even be eaten. I am assuming by your post that you think cigarettes should be banned and nicotine put in shedule I, is this correct?

      Kimmel did a good job with his jokes… kept them just uncomfortable enough for the audience to make them think but lighthearted enough for them to immediately forgive him. This makes digesting his points that much easier.

    27. crazyfly says:

      Raymond The level of your ignorance is stunning.

    28. Stephanie says:

      @ Raymond: we have RIGHTS, in case you forgot. People that are NOT labeled ‘pot heads’ and people that do not partake of cannabis are in favor of legalization or some form of decriminalization. Law enforcement, the medical community, voters and other citizens agree with this. And cannabis has not been correlated to any deaths. Plus…..wait for it…..you DO NOT HAVE TO SMOKE IT! You can eat it in many forms and vaporize the THC to inhale (which contains NO SMOKE!). There are many ways to use this plant. Educate yourself better, everyone. Paper and wood products, gas/fuel….list goes on. Everyone speak up! The government wants what it wants….seize the only rights you have left and USE THEM!

    29. Stephanie says:

      Chemotherapy kills people…..so do cars and other people. So should we just make it illegal to have any of this risky stuff or illegal to live without completely being controlled, to live so we r all nice and safe, uh, dead or ‘imprisoned’ for everyone’s safety? I think our forefathers knew what they were doing when they wrote The Constitution.

    30. william lowder says:

      rub it in

    31. Betty says:

      @Raymond- MARIJUANA isn’t always used for SMOKING- it is also made into tincitures and extracted for consumption (my favorite way of using the herb).
      Also, SMOKING cannabis has never caused cancer, EVER. Studies show it actuall acts to PREVENT tumors in breasts, brain and lung. Do your research before you condemn, you just sound ignorant.

    32. Leo says:

      Raymond, Ye, because “smoke” is a strictly defined substance… Smoke, by itself wouldn’t cause cancer if there were no carcinogens in it. Tobacco smoke is very different from Marijuana smoke, just like smoke from burned plastic is different from the smoke from burned paper or wood. The only similar things are the actual combustion products (like CO). Though CO and other products are not necessarily good for you, it is highly unlikely that they alone would cause lung cancer, especially when they are mixed with THC and CBD, which are recognized by NCI to have anti-cancerous properties. Please stop being ignorant and jump to those conclusions without citing, or even looking into scientific data as if it’s a common knowledge. It’s not. It is a commonly known unproven myth, though.

      P.S. Marijuana is not necessarily a smoke.
      P.P.S. Nevertheless, it’s ok for tobaccoheads to still keep their smoke legal. (though it was proven to cause lung cancer… may be that’s the reason)

    33. ecliptic says:

      Obama has broken every campaign promise he made. He is a globalist traitor, and was never legally eligible to run for the presidency. He is a teleprompter-reading puppet run by the CFR. Vote Ron Paul if you want to restore states rights and limit Federal tyranny. Use nullification to run the Feds out of your state, then fight to fully legalize cannabis in your state. Go to DailyPaul.com and join the fight for liberty!

    34. Jimmy says:

      Some of the latest studies show that smoking marijuana is not like smoking cigarettes which do cause cancer and there are other ways of consuming marijuana than just smoking it if you have a concern that it will cause lung damage. If anything needs to be prohibited it smould be cigarettes. People need to educate themselves on marijuana.

    35. Christ says:

      Marijuana CAN indeed cause lung cancer but lets face the facts most people who smoke pot smoke cigarettes as well sooo that gets thrown right out the window. The fact is pot is harmless and a damn good cash crop. But we are far from full legalization. I would love to get Obama high and show him the killer buds we got now… And hey DC legLized it for medicinal use why cant all of America. Sucks especially being in MD right next to all the new stoners ugh

    36. jbkorn02 says:

      I’ve always loved Kimmel but after calling out the president last night I got a great feeling just thinking that this might not be just getting my hopes up for legalization soon. After hearing him get serious and even the whole crowd supporting him along with the 70% of Americans that aren’t afraid to speak out. Of course the president will pretend it was just a joke and won’t comment on it but just putting that message out in a serious way in front of the whole country during a comedy bit was just great. I wish more celebreties would stand up. They have much more power over the voters than the people who make our laws.

    37. Anonymous says:

      was he stoned looked stoned

    38. Jeedi says:

      Looks like some Obama trolls are out to defend his war on the marijuana consumer/patient/dispensary/education. And all the wonderful, and informed NORML people here have easily dismissed these lame prohibition arguments.

      Why can’t the laimstream media do this? Kimmel roasted the President it a nice way. The thing was brilliant. I am a Kimmel fan now! Anybody who still thinks Obama is clueless about marijuana and the war on drugs is eating paint chips. Which are legal by the way.

    39. jed says:

      I NEED A JOB! who cares if i grow weed and sell it? Should i turn to drugs to make it in this world? No… not unless Obama makes me do it.

    40. cj says:

      Ya know Raymond,99% of the time ignorance is a choice.GREAT job Jimmy!!!

    41. Letter Y says:

      When confronting the President on a serious issue you should do it like a man not in the form of a joke or so lightly brought up.

    42. Ted Sterling says:

      It is inconclusive that smoking pot causes lung cancer.

      “Q. Does smoking marijuana cause lung cancer? A. We do not know yet. Studies have not found an increased risk of lung cancer in marijuana smokers, as compared with nonsmokers.

      Oct. 18, 2011 – National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) 

      “[T]here is very little evidence that smoking marijuana as a means of taking it represents a significant health risk.
      Although cannabis has been smoked widely in Western countries for more than four decades, there have been no reported cases of lung cancer or emphysema attributed to marijuana.
      I suspect that a day’s breathing in any city with poor air quality poses more of a threat than inhaling a day’s dose — which for many ailments is just a portion of a joint — of marijuana.”

      May 5, 2006 – Lester Grinspoon, MD Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, wrote in his opinion article, “Puffing is the Best Medicine,” published May 5, 2006 in the Los Angeles Times:

      “… I think that it would be difficult to extract from these data the conclusion that marijuana is protective against lung cancer. But that is not an unreasonable hypothesis.”

      Donald P. Tashkin, MD, Director of the Pulmonary Function Laboratories at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), responded when asked at the June 2005 meeting of the International Cannabinoid Research Society if “in at least one category [marijuana-only smokers and lung cancer], it almost looked like there was a negative correlation, i.e. a protective effect”:


    43. Nathan says:

      Was there anybody else who noticed that all of the major news outlets didn’t even mention the marijuana comment in his routine?

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    45. Anonymous says:

      Way to go Jimmy — Obama NEEDS more of this from ALL MEDUA on a daily basis

    46. Anonymous says:

      Way to go Jimmy — Obama NEEDS more of this from ALL MEDIA on a daily basis

    47. jazzmin says:

      All I know is my daughter works for the prison system and her BF retired 2 yrs ago from the prison system..he now works for the FBI and I know many others working in those fields as well as police will not be voting yes on it this year in california. many police, prison employees are unwilling to relocate to accomodate a new job/career. I believe also, those persons could do many other jobs with some of the training many have. But so many are comfortable in their 10-15-20 years where they’ve been & do not want change. I believe it needs to be looked @ further. that’s all I’m saying..nothing more. I personally am all for it. And it’s not just the prison system employees (CA has the most prisons), law enforcemant job changes/loss. There would be so many repercussions. Many self proclaimed ‘stoners’ just want it to pass and there’s more to it! Peace

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