On Sunday night’s episode of his “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver criticized America’s conflicting marijuana laws. As Oliver explained, in actuality, 44 states have some form of medical marijuana law, and in eight states recreational marijuana is allowed.
“But the legality of marijuana is actually more fraught than you may think,” Oliver said. “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.”
Oliver went on to explain, “[President] Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, and it’s still in effect today. Marijuana is classified as Schedule I drug, the highest classification alongside heroin. Schedule II, a step down, features drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine. And marijuana is not a Schedule I [drug] any more than hedgehog is an apex predator…Federal law is constantly clashing with new state laws, and it’s causing big problems.”
Oliver went through various examples in which federal law clashed with state law in cases where people had been given a medical marijuana card. “I know that some people will say, ‘Well, hold on, the medical efficacy of marijuana needs a lot more study,’ and that is true,” Oliver said. “The problem is, it’s very difficult to do that because federal laws are standing in the way.”
Oliver’s critique on conflicting marijuana laws come just days after the White House announced it will likely step up law enforcement against marijuana. Watch the complete segment below.