John Oliver Explains the US’s Conflicting Federal and State Marijuana Laws on ‘Last Week Tonight’

Here’s a clip from last night’s Last Week Tonight, where John Oliver takes a closer look at how, thanks to the Controlled Substances Act and conflicting state and federal marijuana laws, even the most seemingly legal marijuana user is at risk of getting in legal trouble — plus how medical marijuana patients, including veterans who depend on it to treat PTSD, often can’t legally obtain it even if it’s legal in their state. “The legality of marijuana is actually much more fraught than you may think. In fact, if you have marijuana right now, even if you are acting completely legally according to your state, you may still be in serious jeopardy, and that’s not your weed-induced paranoia talking,” Oliver says. “You could lose your home, job, or possessions, Greg. And yeah, I know I’m freaking the shit out of any stoned viewer named Greg right now.”

Despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s view that “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” Oliver highlights the bipartisan Congressional Cannabis Caucus and calls for changes to federal marijuana laws sooner than later: “Fixing all of this is a huge undertaking. Marijuana laws affect everything from environmental regulations to international treaties, and ideally, we should also go back and expunge records of people convicted of low-level marijuana offenses in the past. And all of this, I know, is a lot of work, which is why we should really start right now.”

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