Larry King lights a joint for federal medical marijuana patient Robert Randall on the air in 1988.
Now that TV and radio talk show icon Larry King has announced he’s retiring as host of CNN’s Larry King Live this fall after 25 years on the air, Toke of the Town thinks it’s a good time to remember some of the best stoned moments on the long-running show.
Larry King Live holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for the longest running show with the same host in the same time slot. King has conducted 50,000 interviews, according to Wikipedia.
Inevitably, with that many shows under his belt, King has covered the marijuana issue quite a few times, resulting in some memorable episodes. Below are a few highlights from the show that go the best with bong hits.
5. Mick Jagger On Marijuana Legalization
Jagger discusses how his ancient marijuana conviction causes him problems entering the United States to this day, and his idea for legalizing drugs on the Isle of Man.
4. Federal Patient Robert Randall Smokes Marijuana On The Air 
Many people are so used to the lies coming from the U.S. federal government about medical marijuana — as in, there is no such thing — they don’t realize that the government’s own Compassionate Investigational New Drug program has for years supplied a limited number of patients with cans of 300 free, ready-rolled joints every month.
Glaucoma sufferer Robert Randall was one of those federal patients up until his death in 2001, and he was also one of the most articulate and effective spokesmen for the normalization of marijuana laws.
In this clip, included in the Showtime documentary In Pot We Trust, Randall smokes marijuana on the air on King’s show — after King gives him a light!
For a little cultural context, remember that this happened in 1988, eight years before California led the way by becoming the first state in the U.S. to legalize medical marijuana.
3. Bill Maher Discussing Michael Phelps’ Bong Photo
Talk show host Bill Maher takes the other side of the interview chair with King to discuss the supposedly “scandalous” bong photo of Olympic swimming superstar Michael Phelps.
Maher offers the unique perspective that since Phelps has been “marinating in chlorine” for years, he deserves to have all the bong hits he wants.
He also contrasts the (lack of) effects of Phelps’ marijuana use with the likely consequences of alcohol.
“I think if you’re going to take any lesson away from the Michael Phelps story, obviously you can smoke marijuana and still be at the top of your game,” Maher says.
“Could you imagine if he had a six-pack every day? Do you think he would have performed at that level? I don’t.”
2. Willie Nelson: ‘I Smoked Pot Right Before Coming On Your Show’
“I have a huge tolerance for it,” Willie says of marijuana, and somehow I believe him.
When King presses him on exactly when he last smoked pot, Willie is endearingly honest:
“You could arrest me,” Nelson tells King, by way of admitting he smoked pot just before the show.
1. Snoop Dogg To Larry King: ‘I’m On Medical Marijuana As We Speak’
King: What do you think of your association or apparent association with marijuana?
Snoop: [smiles, long pause] Larry, on grounds of my attorney, I’m gonna plead the Fifth [laughs].
King: Really, you don’t want to talk about it?
Snoop: You know Larry, it’s something I’m publically know for speaking of. People know that I support it.
King: You mean legalizing it?
Snoop: Yeah. I support that in a real way. Actually, I’m on medical marijuana as we speak.
King: Do they see you smoking it?
Snoop: Who are they?
King: [Your] children.
Snoop: Oh no, never. It’s medical use, so it’s taken in prescription form as if you were taking pills for heart problems or headaches. This is my prescription.
Larry: They send them too you. I’ve seen them. They roll them for you. In fact I had a guy on before who had them. I’ve seen them.
Snoop: What you say Larry, they roll ’em for you?
Larry: They get them from Army Engineering.
Snoop: [smiles, fakes likes he’s rolling a joint or blunt] Oh, so quick, so fast, oh boy [claps his hands].
Larry: We had a guy once who gets it. It came in a container and he gets 30 a month.
Snoop: Uh huh.
Larry: And they’re rolled.
Snoop: ‘Cause it’s a prescription like mine [laughs]
Larry: Why are you laughing at me?
As pointed out by Steve Bloom over at CelebStoner, Snoop as a registered medical patient in California, Snoop can purchase marijuana products in hundreds of dispensaries around the state.
King appearently is not aware of that or of Proposition 215, which legalized medical marijuana in California 14 years ago, or of the many DEA raids of these dispensaries.
King referred to the federal program that provides 300 (not, as he said, 30) government grown and rolled joints to each of five patients every month. The marijuana is grown by researchers at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS – not by the “Army Engineers.”