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A Civilized Conversation With Adam Carolla

The Adam Carolla Show holds the Guinness World Record for the most downloaded podcast. So it's no surprise that the show's namesake has plenty to say about cannabis and current events. Carolla recently sat down for a Civilized Conversation with our founder and publisher Derek Riedle, who chatted with him about Donald Trump, marijuana legalization and which celebs he's enjoyed splitting a joint with.

Here are the highlights.

Adam, tell me, what's your take on legalizing cannabis?

I'm for it. I'm for legalizing most everything that is, you know, the consensual stuff. Prostitution, drugs, whatever. I don't like most of the regulation that's going on. I mean, think about anyone who's ever had a house and tried to just do a simple addition on the house. Think about all the hoops the government makes you jump through just for the right to spend $100,000 working on your house. It's kind of insane, so I don't like the government being involved with much more than the military and some of the schooling, the roads, the bridges and the cops. I don't like them regulating what you can put in your body...

I mean, I'm not even a cannabis guy. But if the government wants to put a tax, $5 a pack, on a pack of cigarettes, you should be against that as a nonsmoker because it's the government getting involved and getting bigger and stealing more money from its citizens. So the people who don't smoke pot should be in favor of cannabis legalization. It's funny - it's like the NRA guys who don't want the government telling them what to do. Well, this is the government telling you what to do, so everyone in the NRA should be for this as well.

So would you consider yourself a libertarian? How do you define yourself politically?

I'm a kind of "know it when you see it" kind of guy. I don't see the logic in announcing you're this or you're that because when you do that, you have to follow along the party line. And you may not agree with the party line on a lot of the stuff.  Like, I'm for people owning guns if they want to use the gun to protect themselves or they want to have a concealed carry permit to protect themselves or whatever. I'm fine with that, but I just don't want them to have assault rifles. I mean, you can't hunt with an assault rifle. You don't need a banana clip or assault rifle to protect your home. So saying, "Hey, just no assault rifles" seems very reasonable to me. But the NRA would just go, "No." So you think, "Well, that's insanely unreasonable."

But then the same people who are pissed about the NRA are trying to put together a $10-million slush fund to protect criminal aliens from getting deported by Trump. So then some politician drafts some legislation where he goes, "Look, we don't have to deport kids and we don't have to deport maids or gardeners. But if you're an alien and you're undocumented and you have multiple criminal offenses, we should be able to deport because you're in this country illegally and you have a criminal record." And then the people that are pissed off about the NRA go, "No."

And you go, "Wait a minute. What's wrong with this? Like, this family was just shot in San Francisco for dealing with a guy that was deported five times and he was a criminal. You guys wouldn't even deport him." And they still go, "No."

So, now you think to yourself, "This is insane. I don't agree with either of these people." Would you want to agree with either one of those people?

Both parties are disingenuous and they both suck. I mean, yes, get rid of assault rifles and if someone has been caught here five times and is a criminal, of course you deport him! Who wants that guy running around the street?

You sound like a pragmatist. I would say that the ranks of pragmatists out there are growing. But let me throw you a curveball. Would you ever run for office? Would you ever consider it under a more pragmatic type of system or party?

You know, you never say never. But I don't know who could put their family through it. I got ten-year-old kids! They'd have their entire teen years and early adult years hearing that I was a misogynist, that I was a homophobe, and a racist. Like, they'd just walk around and have people scream that their dad was a racist at them over and over again. Who would want to subject their family to that?

That's where we're at. But I might get away from being called like a 'Nazi' or something because I think people think I'm Jewish -- I'm not sure. But I am pretty sure the order would be  'misogynist' then 'racist' and there'd be 'homophobe' in there, too. I think that would be the top three.


We're not far off of that now with the new commander-in-chief, you know? What are your thoughts on Trump?

I have been getting a certain amount of pleasure out of how insane so many people I know have gone over this. It's sort of like sitting in the airplane next to the nervous flier. You hit some turbulence and they think the plane's going down. And you've flown so many miles and felt so much turbulence that you go, "It's just turbulence." Like, you just pull your eye shade down over your face. But they keep thinking the plane's going down and I feel like we're gonna land in Newark in two hours and we'll be fine. Everyone else is freaking out because we've hit a little more turbulence, so I sort of look at it that way. All the doom and gloom and whatever's going on.

I mean, I'm hoping that Trump can get jobs going and all that kind of stuff. But you know, he is who he is. I'm not surprised by anything he does, but I'm also not freaked out by it either.

I don't think he's gonna launch any nukes or drive around collecting people that look different than him and throw them in the gulag or anything like that.

But, that's just me. I don't care about Zika, either. I don't care about peanut allergies. I don't buy into whatever the freak-out du jour is. And there's something every 10 minutes in this country that we need to freak out over. I grew up in LA. I've been hearing that the killer bees were coming from Central America for 35 years. They never showed up. It was like, "Killer bees are coming!" Every third news report when I was in high school was like, "Here come the killer bees." They never got here! So, I just sort of choose to focus on my family, raise my kids, pay my taxes, be a decent citizen, and get on with it.

By believing we're all gonna be okay.

That's my belief. I don't have a crystal ball, but it's my belief that we'll all be okay.

So tell me this: you talked about job creation and the Trump Administration. Do you think that legalizing cannabis could be good for job creating in the United States?

Yeah, I think it's good for tax revenue. That's for sure. I'm for legalizing it and taxing it and then using the money for the poor kids or whatever. Let's just legalize it and start collecting taxes and then go on with our lives. And if somebody is driving after they eat a space cake, then go ahead and give them a DUI.

Does this attitude extend to other pharmaceuticals? Like, do you feel the same about cocaine and heroin and all of that? 

Well, yes, but I work with Dr. Drew on this, so I understand how easily people become addicted to painkillers and things of that nature. And I would like to do whatever makes the most sense. If that means giving people clean needles and methadone or whatever, then that's what that means. Whatever statistically works. But, you know, the painkiller part of it - the pharmaceutical part of it is a major field. And I would like to focus on that and see somebody come up with an idea of what to do with that problem.  I mean, again, I sit next to Dr. Drew all the time and we've never spoken to anyone who's ever even had back surgery who didn't have to be hooked on pain meds, you know?


Yeah, that seems to be the real problem - as opposed to cannabis, when I look at it. But, let's have a little fun with this. Like, you say you're not a cannabis guy, but - correct me if I'm wrong. You've said before, 'if there's a party, I'm there'.


So who's the most fun person you've ever smoked a joint with - that won't mind you outing them? (laughs)

I'd say Donald Trump. (laughs)

Oh yeah? (laughs) How'd he react to it? Don't tell me he mellowed out.

All he wants to do is eat Doritos.

Hence, the orange. You just solved it!

Bill Maher's not a bad guy to get high with. I think Sarah Silverman is fun. But most people are fun. I'd say that's the whole thing about cannabis: it makes boring strangers fun to get high with.

That's true. If you had to pick one person in history who you could have a dream session with, who would it be?

Geez...I would probably have to go back in time. Do I get to bring my smartphone with me?

Of course you do, absolutely.

Okay, then I think I'd go with like Alexander Graham Bell.


Like that? You know, we would be high as a kite and I would just Google everything. I love Google. And I would start Googling the space shuttle and the space lab and blah, blah, blah. And I think that'd just blow his mind. Like, I'd film him on my phone and play it back to him - no wires, no nothing. I think that's what I'd do. Alexander Graham Bell. I'm sure everyone gets that answer.

Yeah, I'd watch that movie for sure.

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