Maher to Leno on Marijuana: “Shut up Grandpa!”

CANNABIS CULTURE – Pot-puffing Comedian Bill Maher made an hilarious appearance on the (nearly always unfunny) Jay Leno show and, while discussing California’s legalization efforts, told the Tonght Show host he was a “buzzkill”.

Jay Leno: “Here’s my thing on the issue. I’ve nothing against legalizing it; I hate when they say it’s a way to raise revenue for the State.”

Bill Maher: “Why?”

Leno: “Because it’s not a real…you know, if you want to raise revenue, build something, make something you can sell to China, make a product. It’s like ancient Rome, it’s like bread and circuses, it’s liquor, it’s gambling, it’s all sin tax.”

Maher: “Oh, shut up Grandpa. Just let us have this one moment. This is the biggest legislative breakthrough we’ve had in 30 years.”

Leno also offered his insights into why California’s efforts to legalize pot are waste of time:

Leno: “California, they spend all this money trying to get things on ballots. But federal law trumps state law.”

Maher: “Oh, Jay you’re such a buzzkill.”

Leno: “Well, it’s true. No matter what the state says, the federal government goes ‘sorry, it’s a federal law. You lose.'”

Maher: “But look at the big picture Jay. Finally this issue is not a third rail in politics anymore.”

As Scott Morgan at asks, hasn’t Jay seen the hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries popping up every few blocks in California?

Jay also touched on an interesting point (even if he got most of the facts wrong):

Leno: “I say decriminalize it. Anybody that wants marijuana in California can get it. But once you bring in Philip Morris, once it become a business, and advertising and all that nonsense starts […] If you want to grow it in your backyard and you want to smoke it, you get it from your friend, that’s fine. I just don’t want to see it in stores and don’t want to see the guy, ‘This is the best high you’ll ever have.’ [mimicing a TV advertisement]

Jay points to a legitimate concern many people have about the possible takeover of the marijuana industry by large commercial enterprises like tobacco companies, who have a taste for profits and a history of poisoning customers and attempting to hide the evidence.

This concerns me too, but I agree with Ganja Guru Ed Rosenthal, who thinks California will experience what he calls the “Tomato Model” of marijuana legalization, where commercial, home and specialty cultivators can thrive side-by-side, much like the American tomato industry. According to Rosenthal, more tomatoes are grown in America by home gardeners than are produced commercially, and there is a robust market for large- and small-scale producers of all types.

I chuckled loudly at Maher’s “Grandpa” quote, which was a double-edged dig at Leno and his aging Tonight Show audience. It is well known that Leno appeals to an older crowd, as evidenced by the recent late-night Night of the Long Knives that saw former Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien and his whole staff purged from NBC to give Leno back his 11:30 time slot. It turns out an energetic Irish-American with hair like an orange tsunami didn’t appeal to the ol’ folks.



  1. chronjohn on

    Jay, beer companies are sponsors for almost every major event ever held in America, they advertise all over TVs, radio, billboards, NASCAR cars, Tshirts etc etc So what would be so wrong with some ads featuring beautiful buds and plants and people enjoying themselves while having a toke? It’s safer than any other substance you could think of consuming, you can even die from too much water. not too much cannabis! and if you vape or eat edibles then your risk is practically zero. Get with the times, “grandpa”!

  2. Anonymous on

    Sounds like Jay Leno, does inhale.

  3. A Montrealer on

    i do not think the referendum will work in California because of all the people in the business i.e: dealers,growers etc will vote no :(

  4. Anonymous on

    but there have been raid after raid since then no matter what a president says it can never be trusted they lie lie lie

  5. Anonymous on

    It takes a fair amount of work, both physical and mental to arrive at a good crop. It is equivalent to a farmer growing his crop.

  6. jimi77 on

    There is too much stigma against cannabis for it to be legalized or even decriminalized.

    I would love for it to happen here in Canada, but because we are America Jr. it will never happen, especially as long as the President of North America sees fit.

    For Christ’s sake, doctors prescribe it as a medicine.
    Who should we believe more … politicians preaching an agenda OR doctors looking out for patients???

  7. HOLA on

    Agreed… but, one thing that they neglected to mention was that as state after state continue to legalize medical marijuana it will inherently for the Feds to change their opposing stance. We have 15 or so states on board… it’s not that long now..

  8. Anonymous on

    let me stop you after sentence #1. how exactly is Phillip Morris going to “take over” anything, especially a brand new legal industry that has little to NO barriers to entry? anybody can grow pot, its easy. but growing top quality bud is something that takes a lot of time and experience to do consistently. what does Philip Morris know, if anything, about growing good pot? hardly anything compared to the growers who have already been growing and breeding this plant for decades. it doesnt matter how many millions of dollars they pour into greenhouses, they are not just going to automatically take over a damn thing. it’ll just be like tobacco now, you can buy a cheap ass mass produced cigar for $1 or you can buy a quality hand made cigar for $20+ that smokes and tastes a thousand times better. you can smoke those cheap ass Marlboro joints if you want but i’ll stick with my Humboldt’s Finest, thanks.

  9. Anonymous on

    um, no he hasnt. matter of fact the DEA under Eric Holder promised right after Obama took over that they would end raids on facilities complying with state laws, even if its in violation of federal law. he knows like everyone else that the drug war is a losing battle.

  10. lakua on

    That’s funny… it’s just my Hawaiian name that I use when I post. :)

  11. Adam on

    We must achieve legalization by REPEALING laws instead of adding to the current legislation. The problem was created by legislation and it can not be solved that way, legalization must be achieved by repealing all laws in violation of nature.

  12. Adam on

    it’s called the Kind Users Association, isn’t it?

  13. Adam on

    I also wonder, pardon me for being suspicious – is “lakua” an acronym for some kind of Los Angeles – something – something – Authority, or Association?

  14. Anonymous on

    “…a human having a spiritual experiance[sic] as well as a spirit having a human experiance[sic].”

    If you had any idea how many ways I’ve been hearing that recently…

  15. Adam on

    Thanks Lakua, that’s a good sign. I hope it’s written in there and not simply inferred by omission; my warning could come true if the politicians simply amended the tax code after this passes.

  16. Bastian Fromherz on

    Legalization: control, regulation, serious businesses and business people, sale through stores and IDs, warnings (idk for what)

    Decriminalization: lower price and lower amount of sales for gangs/cartels/terrorists/bad guys etc. (but not completely or nearly completely gone), no regulation, no IDs (altho theyred still be an age limit, no stores, no warnings

  17. Sambezi on

    Fist of all, Maher is a far left progressive who doesn’t mind if somebody like Phillip Morris or the federal government takes over the marijuana industry. Leno is right. Let the people have millions of small companies and let them make the money. If people knew what was sprayed and inserted into the tobacco we call American cigarettes, they would be outraged. We can’t allow anyone to spray or add anything to marijuana. Ed Rosenthal could be right about the “Tomato Model”. Let’s not forget who started prohibition to begin with: Franklin D. Roosevelt. That progressive left-winger only did it to make money with Anslinger who was part of Dupont, who had just created a synthetic fiber that they wanted to replace Hemp. So, it was made illegal for the purpose of using a fake fiber so a very small group of people could make millions if not billions. It’s time to give the power back to the states and the people. One last thing is closing: George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and John Adams all grew marijuana and thought it was one of the most important and useful and enjoyable crops that anyone could grow. They were all Christians, in spite of what schools teach, and were not the anti-freedom, atheist and socialist group of thiefs that are in power now. Outgrow Big Bro!!

  18. lakua on

    Decrim keeps the black market and criminal enterprises intact. Only legalization will destroy the black market. And I wouldn’t worry about large corporations taking over production. With beer you have your large corporations producing piss water (Bud), and many micro-brews producing much better beer. It will be the same with cannabis. But as long as I can grow my own without fear of arrest, that is what I’ll do.

  19. lakua on

    In regard to the Tax and Regulate Initiative in California: The taxes will only be charged on the sale (as an excise tax). There will be no tax if you grow it yourself.

  20. Anonymous on

    THANK YOU ! Someone with a brain! Most people love to be fooled! NEVER TRUST THE TAX MAN! Many of these fools are the same people that think Obama is great while he has increased the funding for the wars on drugs and terror that really are one war!

  21. Anonymous on

    I agree with Jay in that we need to “DECRIMINALIZE” drugs, he could have rounded out his thoughts better but he had Liberal knuckle head loud mouth name caller Maher up there….. I do not want one cent of my money going to the war profit murderous government that has put millions of pot smokers in prison and killed many others. And the Fed’s don’t care about the Constitution! None of the banker puppet “Presidents” from LBJ up to and including “Barry” Barack Obama give a crap about the Constitution. EVERYBODY KNOWS that the CIA and our own USA military industrial complex / government ARE the drug kingpins! While I think that cannabis consumption helps cognitive ability it is obvious that many “pot smokers” need to mind their diets and develop their understandings of government and history more. Many of the comments I see on sites like this parrot the ignorant comments you can find on any main stream media outlet in the USA such as MSNBC or FOX……

  22. Adam on

    how many of you actually are provocateurs? Holy crap; you folks are getting stupider every time I visit.

    He’s against sin tax, he’s pro-legalization. These are my two positions.
    If we just tax it, we’re not free. That means you’ll still be arrested for growing it, even one plant.

    And now it’ll be a violation of tax law, which means ONE PLANT, when grown under Californian “legalization” (taxation), is a FELONY.

    This is a trick they are using on us. We are voting to turn SINGLE PLANT grows into TAX FELONIES.

    This is an extremely effective campaign against marijuana growers, in that their customers are doing all the fighting to pass it.

    All I want in life for the future is to grow my own pot. Not only to possess a relationship to the plant, (where I give AND take), but to stop dealing with HORRIBLE FUCKING PEOPLE who are always trying to smash my head in and steal my money, narc on each other, etc. etc. etc. and only care about money.

    THOSE ARE THE TYPE of people you will be forced to deal with if it’s taxed and regulated under FELONY law, because they will become more concentrated – currently the dealers who don’t think that way are in business, although a minority, and if this becomes a HARSHER penalty to grow it, which THIS WILL DO, you won’t ever meet one of those types again. At least, you’ll be buying corporate pot from the government along with him, and it will be more expensive than before. Whereas what I want, to grow from LEGAL SEED, is FREE.


    Leno: “Because it’s not a real…you know, if you want to raise revenue, build something, make something you can sell to China, make a product. It’s like ancient Rome, it’s like bread and circuses, it’s liquor, it’s gambling, it’s all sin tax.”

    Well can we not grow and sell the cannabis to different countries worldwide? Marh should have hit him on that point.

  24. Anonymous on

    Is nt it like basicly you re dead already and now ve been sent to earth to witness and participate into all that’s surrounding us?

    Some strong indica gets me into this spiritlike state of mind fairly easy and i came to enjoy it too :)

    Challenge is to make sure you are able to experience this from both a human having a spiritual experiance as well as a spirit having a human experiance.

    If you get stuck in either one of them its called a psychosis.

    good luck with the experience buddy 😉

  25. Anonymous on

    Huh??? Stay on topic….

  26. Anonymous on

    I wish I’d heard:
    Jay Leno: “I don’t want to see the guy [mimicing a TV advertisement]. I fear for the children!”
    Bill Maher: “It’ll probably be like tomatoes. More tomatoes are grown in America by home gardeners than are produced commercially, and there is a robust market for large- and small-scale producers of all types.”
    Jay Leno: “But I have no reason to fear ads for tomatoes.”
    Bill Maher: “Maybe you should. I’ve seen some of your monologues.”

  27. Anonymous on

    Bill Maher definetly has ‘salmon butt’ in this video. I can almost smell it through my computer, imagine the stench on that chair from all the celebs puting there salmon butt on it.

  28. Castklearr on

    love is eternal!


    Serious folks the eternal love of the spirit is beyound physical description. And the beauty is we are all spirits eternal…..we host physicality!

    The love is awesome….recieve it!

  29. Jillian on

    Every government report proves that the prohibition *isn’t* preventing millions of Americans from smoking marijuana.

    Our taxes fund the prohibition, the prohibition funds the cartels, the cartels murder children as young as six to protect their drug smuggling routes into the U.S.

    If we would fight to protect our own children then we MUST also fight to protect these children! All of us must ask our legislators to sponsor bills to legalize the production and sale of marijuana to adults.

  30. Zone on

    I know that its cool to disrespect Jay, but he has an excellent point, and its not that it should be hidden, it is that it would be better if Big Business and Wall Street didn’t get to own cannabis.

  31. Greg A on

    well put! we are ashamed no more! we know the truth and its spreading!

  32. Netta on

    I’m glad Jay thinks it’s o.k. to use marijuana, as long as we keep it hidden, but it sounds like someone that has no idea of what he’s saying. i’m glad life is good for Jay so he is not aware of anyone else’s needs as long as his are met. We, from the Cannabis Culture, want to be free and speak our minds, win in courts and not be at the mercy of the police. Yes, and we can advertize ! does that scare you Jay? Do your eyes hurt when you see a big fat joint? i bet you are a heavy drinker … Do you keep that well hidden ? we are not all Jay, we are honest, upfront, and not ashamed no more.

  33. Anonymous on

    Jay is wrong, the states dont have to enforce fed law…..but… know the feds and local LE will work together. Local LE is addicted to fed money.Thats the police state happening, that federalizing OUR local cop. That militarizing OUR local cops. Thats tyranny at its finest.

  34. Greg A on

    If you have ever had the privilege of watching “A class divided” the lady that started a test on her class room depicting brown eye people as “better” smarter, stronger than green or blue, then flipped the situation 1 day later to show them what discrimination is. It was amazing how the kids acted toward each other, but at the end of it they learned a valuable lesson. She did this because of the passing of Dr. Martin Luther King and the way reporters around the world talked about African American people and said things like “Who will now hold their people together?”, “Who will stop them?”, so many them’s and they’s, showing that discrimination was still showing on both parts. I love Leno, but, why dose he discriminate me?

  35. lakua on

    Leno: “Well, it’s true. No matter what the state says, the federal government goes ‘sorry, it’s a federal law. You lose.'”

    This just shows Jay Leno doesn’t understand the separation of powers between the federal government and the states. No, Jay, it’s not true that whatever the feds say, goes. State and local authorities do not enforce federal law. If the Feds decide to enforce marijuana prohibition, they have to do so themselves – they CANNOT command the state to do anything about it. The Federal government does not have the resources to enforce cannabis prohibition in California.

    So, you’re wrong Jay – the Feds will lose and the California voters will win.