On the Feb. 12, 2016 episode of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” host/comedian Maher lit a joint loaded with cannabis and smoked it with some of his guests, including rapper/pundit Killer Mike.
“I use medical marijuana because my third eye has glaucoma,” Maher said at the 5:44 mark in the above video. “And you know, it’s acting up right now. Maybe I should … (Maher lights a joint from his pocket with a lighter) … maybe I should treat it. This is private property, and I do have a card, so … (inhale, exhale, applause from the studio audience) … In conclusion, please remember … (coughing fit, laughter) … please remember that legalizing pot is a long way from a done deal. I know you’re tired, I am too, of making the same old, obvious pot arguments — like how pot is less dangerous than other legal adult activities. But somehow you can drink alcohol, you can smoke cigarettes.”
Was the joint rolled with real marijuana? Yes it was, Maher confirmed on Twitter.
Yup, that was real last night. And, I think, a first. (Zach's was fake but he paved the way!) America, fuck yeah!
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) February 13, 2016
The moment seemed to surprise everyone, the show’s guests included, and it was infinitely reminiscent (as Maher mentioned in the above tweet) of when Zach Galifianakis was on the show in November of 2010 and appeared to smoke a joint on Maher’s set.
Later on, Maher told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that it wasn’t a real joint.
“Zach’s crazy, but he’s not that crazy,” Maher told Blitzer those years ago.
So now that Maher has done the deed more than five years after Galifianakis pretended to, does that make Maher cray cray — or are we at this point in the normalization cycle that Maher’s move simply isn’t that big of a deal?
Either way, the rumor started circulating around the Internet earlier this week that Maher was facing $1.7 million in fines from the Federal Communications Commission for the weed stunt.
Even though I’ve seen the Satira Tribune’s story shared by a number of marijuana industry insiders on their social media, let’s add Maher’s $1.7 million fine to our ever-growing category of Fake News. (Even Snopes agrees.)
And how about we start checking those news sources’ credentials before sharing off-the-wall news as fact? That’s something I’m sure Maher could get behind.