The White House Correspondents’ Dinner was not just all a barrel of laughs this year as some celebrities decided to address serious issues facing the country. Jimmy Kimmel was one of those speakers, raising the issue of legalizing marijuana.
Speaking to the crowd Kimmel said,
“What is with the marijuana crackdown? Seriously, what is the concern? We will deplete the nation’s Funyun supply?. Pot smokers vote too. Sometimes a week after the election, but they vote.”
Looking out at a crowd that included Reese Witherspoon and Kim Kardashian he asked the crowd,
“I would like everyone in this room to raise your hand if you’ve never smoked pot,”
There were very few takers to publicly admit to illegal drug use in the crowd as there were just a few hands in the air.
Seeing the crowd’s unwillingness to back him up he turned to President Obama and made a direct plea.
Kimmel said to President Obama,
“Marijuana is something that real people care about,”
President Obama recently said that he didn’t mind an open debate about drug legalization. During the 2008 campaign he said he was not going to use the Justice Department to go after Medical Marijuana users, but they have recently gotten involved in some high profile raids including one on a major medical marijuana growing school.
In a recent article he clarified his position on the raids while speaking to Rolling Stone. He said,
“What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana,” Obama said. “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.”