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Bill Maher’s Marijuana Problem – by Steve Bloom | The NORML Stash Blog

I am the producer of The NORML Network, the host of the NORML SHOW LIVE and The NORML Stash Blog, and NORML's Outreach Coordinator. I'm married, live in Portland, Oregon, and I am a registered medical marijuana caregiver in this state. I've worked days as an IT geek and nights as a professional musician. Previously, I have been the host of my own political talk radio show on satellite radio. I've been the High Times "Freedom Fighter of the Month" and I travel across the country to educate people on marijuana reform. I've dedicated my life to bringing an end to adult marijuana prohibition and re-legalizing cannabis hemp, and I'm honored to be chosen by NORML to give voice to the Marijuana Nation and to speak for those who can't speak up.

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29 responses to “Bill Maher’s Marijuana Problem – by Steve Bloom”

  1. Radical Liberal Bill Maher, America’s Secret Agent of Globalist Atheism and Marijuana Addiction

    [...] he was unceremoniously fired from television, Maher took up the narcotic marijuana agenda with renewed vigor as a spokesman for NAMBLA. In this man’s mind, every teen needs to be choking [...]

  2. Don'tWaitStartNOW

    Maybe Bill Maher could fund a “Cannabis War Room Website” and pay for a few people to run it?


    Until then, I strongly encourage all posters and bloggers to begin to participate in msmedia discussion forums, blogs and write editorials, regarding cannabis (medical, recreational, etc..) and counter any lies or propaganda with well-sourced information. The key in successfully helping to bury the myths and the lies forever and ever is to use information from highly credible sources, like the British Medical Association for instance, and it is also important to write reasonably well.

    Remember that roughly 8 out of 10 Americans support access to medicinal cannabis, but many of these people could use facts about the history of cannabis prohibition or its use as a medicine, the controlled trials, the different delivery methods or the alternatives to smoking.

    Do your research and then politely present facts and back them up with only the best sources. No personal attacks, just attack the propaganda (don’t call anybody dunce like I did earlier). There are so many well-informed patients, docs, advocates, researchers, growers, writers, etc…, but they often talk amongst themselves and preach to the choir, which is also needed and important.

    But please also take the message to politicians or wannabe politicians and the media ASAP. Talking amongst ourselves is key to strategize, share and vent, but we need more sharing of the facts (its safety and efficacy as a medicine, for instance) in the MSMedia or with politicians.

    Steve Bloom’s history of cannabis that appeared in Huffingtons is a perfect example of the type of article we need to spread throughout the media. Please read Steve’s piece, if you haven’t yet and “mine” it for good info.

    Now go and politely kick the prohibitionists’ teeth in with the facts!

  3. HoldingMedia&PoliticiansAccountable4Lies

    OOPS, I just realized that my first comment from last night was posted at some point this morning. Thanks for being open to suggestions and thanks for all the work you do. Sorry to jump the gun.

    I don’t think NORML alone could implement the strategies i suggest, and recognize that NORML may not be the best organization to embarrass and humiliate politicians and the media for backwards views on cannabis; but I am convinced this media and political “pressure” to tell the truth is missing — for the most part — from the national coverage.

    tx again for printing my comment….you always have been open to my suggestions/comments, even when they were long rants…keep pushing….we’re getting there…

    cannabis is still illegal not because NORML is doing a poor job, but because many people — even former tokers — have a negatiive view of cannabis, because the Big Cannabis Lie is some of the most successful, most creative, and most ambitious propaganda ever created (they turned one of the safest therapeutic substances into a monster that eats children, basically)….the lie “hoodwinked” many otherwise bright people, and today, we’re still fighting the same 70+years of Reefer Madness.

    tx again for letting me share some suggestions…maybe NORML could clarify what their role, objectives and strategies are so that people know more about all the work you do….

  4. WonderingWhere'sMyComment

    .I took the time to post a long comment with specific media strategies to help end the war on cannabis and the war on Americans, but the commented never appeared.

    Was it too long? Or did the computer make an error. or is the comment awaiting “moderation”?

    If possible, I hope you post my comment, as comments from communication strategists that contain concrete suggestions, should not be dumped, as fresh ideas keep any effort from getting stale.

  5. McD

    That sounds good.

    Where do I sign up?

  6. HoldingMedia&PoliticiansAccountable4Lies

    Great article in Huffington, Steve Bloom. If more well-informed insiders and other well-informed bloggers began to spread well researched histories of cannabis and also spread the medical support and medical evidence all over the MSMedia, backed by highly credible sources, it would be more difficult for the media and for politicians to spread lies. So, thanks a lot.

    The facts are on our side — and have been for a long time, as you know –whether the debate is regarding medicinal cannabis, recreational cannabis, spiritual cannabis, video-game cannabis, sex cannabis or cannabis/hemp for industrial purposes.

    But what’s really bitchin’ right now, according to a January 2010 ABC News/Washington Post poll, 81 percent of Americans support legalizing cannabis for medical use, and public support for general legalization is definitely at the tipping point, at least in a lot of the U.S.


    But too many politicians, like NY’s tard Cuomo, are lagging light-years behind their constituents on cannabis, even about the medicinal use of cannabis — pounding their chests about increased crime and frothing about “the children,” “hospital rates” and other propaganda. And much of the media is indeed controlled by religious zealots and/or corporate prohibitionists who are still peddling these lies 24/7 (ONE HUGE FRICKIN’ NEVER SLEEPS REEFER MADNESS WAR ROOM-MACHINE), even though all this propaganda has been thoroughly refuted by the real authorities.

    If we want to help all cannabis causes and beat these crooks, cowards and dunces, we to need to be hyper-vigilante and hyper-consistent in calling the politicians and the media out on all of the lies they spout or print, by PUBLICIZING these lies and humiliating the sources of these lies with the facts from credible sources, like the American College of Physicians. Side by side, daily analysis: retarded reefer madness compared to a highly credible source, like the New England Journal of Medicine.

    And most importantly, we need a website and a tiny organization to track and to publicize all politicians’ stances and all the media coverage, so that every lie, exaggeration, misrepresentation, myth and stereotype is pounced on and bombarded relentlessly with the historical and scientific facts from highly credible sources or authorities, like the American College of Physicians.

    If we begin to consistently hold all politicians and all of the media ACCOUNTABLE for all of their lies and humiliate and embarrass them with the truth; and if we do this every time a politician or media outlet tries to spread propaganda, we will bring this thing to its knees fast.

    Politicians especially don’t like to look dumb, as they are all at least a tad narcissistic, and media cannot afford to spread lies, if their discussion forums, editorials, and emails politely correct the record, every day, with credible sources. Most of the media outlets are already realizing they are going to have to correct the record soon, unless someone like Mit Romney becomes President (maybe that’s why so many of them are holding out and still peddling lies).

    Just a few informed people and a decent website that hyper-tracks the political & media distortion or media spin of the facts regarding cannabis/hemp and politely but firmly corrects the record by comparing any distortion with the facts from highly credible sources. And then, politely communicates these facts to the people guilty of perpetuating propaganda every day and then politely follows up with the sources of the dis/misinformation (hounds them like Karl Rove would) until their reputation is destroyed or they admit/print the truth.

    Like the Pro/Con site, but one that is 100 Percent for Cannabis and politely but consistently tracks and calls the politicians and media out on all their modern day reefer madness. Or start with a site solely for medicinal goals now and evolve.

    Let NORML and MPP be the good cops, so to speak, because a lot of them appear to have suits and even ties sometimes (and they need to develop longer term, friendly, working relationships with the politicians and the media), but someone needs to call the S.O.B.s out and f. their s#*! up with the truth 24/7. As a legal patient I think holding the media and politicians ACCOUNTABLE for their lies is not being done as often as it is needed, as groups like NORML and busy with lobbying and making friends — for long-term change.

    But many patients cannot wait: they need medicinal access NOW. So, reduce the amount of preaching to the converted and get the message all over the media. If this type of media blitz is too aggressive for NORML, then some group or other advocates need to jump on it.

    Cut the lies off at their root (the media and ill-informed or crooked politicians).

    When the record is corrected more than it is besmirched the Big Cannabis Lie will die.

  7. Bill Maher's Marijuana Problem - WeedTRACKER

    [...] Radical Russ Belville weighs in about Bill Maher Bill Maher’s Marijuana Problem – by Steve Bloom | The NORML Stash Blog By "Radical" Russ Belville on October 6, 2010 Druyan chairs the NORML Foundation, [...]

  8. McD

    “Cannabis users make a choice to ingest cannabis…”
    And diabetics make a choice to inject insulin.

  9. nayturegirl420

    U Go Russ :-)

  10. Urb Age

    What Russ said! :bongin:

  11. andres_rw

    I’m not sure it’s fair to make that comparison, the difference here being that people don’t CHOOSE to be Black or Gay (despite what the religious folks tell us). I understand why your examples would be offensive.

    Cannabis users make a choice to ingest cannabis, and I think that makes somewhat of a difference.

    Regardless, I admire your passion for ending this insane war on marijuana. I would love for you to somehow have Maher on your show… make it happen Russ! :-P

  12. andres_rw

    Comedians joke about stereotypes, it’s what they do.

  13. andres_rw

    I think your taking Maher’s comments a bit too seriously/personally Russ. The guy is a comedian and is playing off of the stoner stereotype (Remember, he’s a stoner himself ). He may not be monetarily helping out the cause but I recall he does advocate for legalization through his celebrity whenever he is on national television (Jay Leno for example).

  14. PabloKoh

    ILLINOIS NORML is working hard for the last few votes (2 to 3 more) from the Illinois State House to pass SB1381, Medical Marijuana Pilot Program Act. They would love a little more press before the November session.

  15. Bud Green

    Maher is not the only one frustrated by the state of the cannabis lobby, which has splintered into so many side groups it’s hard to know where to turn or who is most deserving of support. Not that stoners do a whole lot in terms of financial support anyway, which is the biggest reason why NORML and the other groups can’t do more than they already do. They’ll pay hundreds and thousands of dollars for their “holy bud” without spending one thin dime on advocacy.

    To say there’s room for improvement shows no disrespect to the hard-working advocates we have now. You may not like the way Maher delivered the message, but it should be taken as a challenge, not an insult. NORML, ASA, MPP, DPA, SSDP, LEAP, CSDP and more are all fighting for the same thing, in theory, but in practice they’re also fighting for scarce donor dollars that keep getting scarcer as the recession drags on. Our cannabis reform efforts are all over the map, and it shows. Some consolidation of financial and organizational resources should be considered by the main players.

  16. Leonard Krivitsky, MD

    Cannabis is less physically addictive than caffeine, while the so-called “gateway drug” theory is a complete fantasy, and it was just recently called “half-baked” as a result of a scientific study. CNN reported that Cocaine use has dropped sharply, by 30% since 2002, which is really good news. I worked in addiction medicine for years, and this is what I can advice on the matter: Any suppression of Cannabis use will be immediately followed by an increase in alcohol/hard drug/prescription drug abuse! You don’t believe me? Then maybe you will believe the Big Alcohol lobby that is financing the Cannabis Legalization opponents for exactly this reason. Right now Cannabis is just simply perceived as a much safer alternative to alcohol/hard drugs, which is precisely how it should be perceived. To have a society in which there is NO psychoactive substance use is an illusion, and it will be good for our government to realize this. So then, it becomes a matter of “safer choices”, just like with the sex education. And Cannabis is, without a shadow of a doubt, a much safer choice than alcohol or hard drugs! Just very recently a research study in addiction medicine has determined that Cannabis may actually serve as an “exit” substance for recovering alcoholics/hard drug addicts! And there is another extremely important property of Cannabis that the prohibitionists would love to keep secret: Cannabis use suppresses violent urges and behaviors and, as one prestigious textbook says, “Only the unsophisticated think otherwise” Then, of course, there is a potential of Cannabis in chronic pain, where other drugs may be ineffective (or physically addictive), with very important potential consequences for our wounded veterans, many of whom have chronic pain. It is also worth noting that Cannabis may have certain preventative value for such devastating conditions as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. And all this comes with no danger of overdoses or induction of a physical dependence! Let’s be very happy that the cocaine abuse rate is dropping. Let’s not interfere with these dynamics, and then we can possibly achieve what has already been achieved in the Netherlands where the drug overdose rate is 85%(!!) lower than in the US, and that is with much more liberal Cannabis possession laws than in this country! Maybe it is time to give up “dogma” about Cannabis, and to start listening to the experts, if we really want to lower the alcohol/hard drug use in this country, and the accompanying dependencies and overdoses!?

  17. McD

    Who is this ‘Mahler’ character? I’ve never heard of him. (Some celebrity, I should think he’s virtually unheard of outside the US.) Really – I no idea who he is (A chat show host, I would guess.) and it doesn’t look like he’s worth the effort required to find out. So, on second thought, please don’t feel obliged to answer the question.

    Anyone who’s watched this space for any amount of time should have realised you’re good, hard worker, Russ. Don’t take it to heart: although praise may not be as vocal and emphatic as one might like, good deeds and hard work don’t go unnoticed.

  18. Kaylea

    Maybe Bill needs to be arrested, booked, and thrown in jail to await arraingment. Here in bum f**K TX if you get arrested for ANYTHING after 4pm you have to wait in jail until the 10am arraingment. I think Bill needs a lesson in reality.

  19. ray christl cambodia medical kanja

    This is why I’ve always teach=Argumentum ad Verecundiam–appeal to celebrity–the logical fallacy that celebs really know science…Bill Maher is an idiot on the cannabis issue, and because he’s rich and famous you kowtow to his whims…NORML is the hardest working brain trust on Earth…drop him NOW…ask him if a scientist from NORML was ever on his show to REALLY teach about hemp science…He’s more politically correct these days.

  20. Delpart

    You hinted at, but left out the intangibles in regards to how NORML functions/is funded. Grassroots sums it up. Based on looking at where donation money is spent with NORML, most, if not all significant labor/man-hours behind the organization is from volunteers. (Your “paid” efforts more than duly noted before I come off sounding like Maher.)

    The amount of time we spend on behalf of/with NORML is not easily measured or quantified into a dollar amount, but it is significantly more, all said and done, than the operating budget has to do things like actually lobbying.

    I know one thing he’s probably hinting at is that there are far too many different drug law reform organizations and rarely is there a unified appearance to their efforts with regards to cannabis. The very split/story of MPP/NORML is one I’m sure the prohibitionists love to see exaggerated. Truly every good cause has more than one lobby or forum, and NORML’s very specific to be sure. But to someone outside of this arena of thought, the opinions on how fragmented the pro-cannabis movement appears are always there.

    The odd thing with Maher’s presentation in regards to reform is very similar to passive aggressive methods used by others. He does speak frequently and openly about needing to change the current drug laws with an incredible amount of money behind his efforts, but with a slant that it lacks unification/organization. That being said, I think he’s trying to push people to support him and is merely sharing a dose of the flack he receives from various studio executives and others about the direction he takes on this subject. I also wonder if when he is making those jabs if he is not trying to lure in people who are more “on the fence” in some ways. Subtle hint that “NORML needs your help” sort of thing. Or maybe he’s just lost touch with the movement.

    I’m not a Maher fan-boy by any means. I often find his millionaire status for the last decade plus has easily put him “out of touch” with many of his “liberally slanted” topic discussions. Cannabis reform however is one topic he’s been pretty consistent on. He’s always had the slacker stereotype as part of his act. Perhaps he’s a little out of touch there as well, since he no longer is paying his way through college by being a drug dealer. It must have been a very long time since he’s had to worry about how the laws affect his lifestyle and future prospects. Right now he could get nailed and it would only help his career. But then, who is going to take the risk of attacking someone as vocal and with that many influential friends … My, how things change eh?

  21. Brent in KY

    I have mixed feeling about Bill, On one hand i hate the fact he has been putting down our movement for years now, its been some time since I have seen him at a Norml conference or event, yet he still makes fun. Saying things like what he did has become very typical. And also yes where is the all his money at in this fight? So in one way hes just another I Gots Mine person, too rich to care about all the arrests going on around him. The jokes are just plying into the slacker stoner idea and thats just another stereotype we dont need to fight since its coming from a so called supporter.

    On the other hand I have to say he is one in a very few that are truthfully speaking up about all the problems in this nation. Bill and Jon Stewart are the only two That I feel tell the truth and truly see what needs to happen to fix it. In a sea of FOXnews type TV all over the place these guys are my only outlet for the truth and the facts.

    So with that said, I too have been on Bill for years saying this same thing that he needs to support us 110% or not at all, he can not make jokes about our movement and expect to get a positive message out it just wont work. With that I must say why is Bill still part of Norml at all? And what needs to happen to remove him from any and all parts of Norml?

    To Bill, I say this, keep up the great work getting the truth out and giving a voice for so many of us that dont have one. But for the legalizing of cannabis, if you cant do anything more than make fun of us then just dont do anything at all!

  22. Terry of Astoria

    Way to school ‘em, Russ. I didn’t even know Bill Maher was on the advisory board. Anyway, I think he wants us to excuse him because it’s “obvious that he’s a stoner, too” kind of. . . . It just seemed as if he were sort of mean, or sort of uncouth, or just a bit loony. Or maybe somehow above it all.

  23. bloomdude

    You rock, Russ!

  24. NativeSonKY

    Thanks for saying what needed to be said, Again, Russ! I’ve often wondered if any of these Holly-weird types ever put their money where their mouths are…I guess not :-( Keep up the great work man!

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