Stephen Colbert Exposes John Kasich’s Marijuana Hypocrisy


Ohio Governor John Kasich was recently grilled by Stephen Colbert on his hypocrisy regarding marijuana as Kashich joined both prohibitionists and many cannabis law reformers in opposing the controversial Issue 3 legalization measure. While Kasich remains a longshot to win the Republican nomination, he will very likely be on the short list of vice presidential candidates, particularly because of Ohio’s importance in the presidential election. In fact, no GOP candidate has ever won the presidency without carrying Ohio.

First, Colbert notes the absurdity of relying upon “for the children” argument when alcohol is legal. After Kasich hems and haws for a bit, trying to deflect the conversation to other drugs, Colbert then exposes the supreme hypocrisy of privileged people like John Kasich who smoked marijuana in the past, but support criminalizing cannabis today. This type of personal hypocrisy was brought to the forefront during a previous GOP debate, when Rand Paul called out Jeb Bush.

Colbert asks Kasich if he would be governor today if he was caught smoking marijuana by police in his youth and Kasich jokes, “Maybe, if I got you to come out to campaign for me.” Kasich does state that he would support medical cannabis, but only if “the experts come back and say that we need this for people who have seizures”. What Kasich and many other prohibitionists don’t seem to understand, besides the fact that their hypocrisy is offensive, is that marijuana convictions of any kind can have severe detrimental consequences upon people’s lives, even if they aren’t arrested or ever see the inside of a jail cell. Thankfully, a majority of Americans now understand the need to repeal cannabis prohibition, and more and more politicians are having their old-fashioned and hypocritical marijuana policy positions exposed.

Based upon this exchange, it seems unlikely that Stephen Colbert will be endorsing John Kasich anytime soon. Check out the video of the interview segment and see for yourself:

Anthony Johnson

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort. He served as director of both the New Approach Oregon and Vote Yes on 91 PACs, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. As director of New Approach Oregon, Anthony continues to work towards effectively implementing the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature as well as city councils and county commissions across the state. Anthony helps cannabis business comply with Oregon's laws and advises advocates across the country. He also serves as content director of both the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, helping share the vision of moving the cannabis industry forward in a way that maintains the focus on keeping people out of prison and protecting patients. He was a member of the Oregon Health Authority Rules Advisory Committee, assisting the drafting of the administrative rules governing Oregon’s state-licensed medical marijuana facilities. He first co-authored and helped pass successful marijuana law reform measures while a law student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He passed the Oregon Bar in 2005 and practiced criminal defense for two years before transitioning to working full-time in the political advocacy realm. His blogs on Marijuana Politics are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization.