The legalization of marijuana has been a pet cause of American potheads for decades, and it seems like their dream may actually come to fruition, at least in a few states. In eight different states, legislators are crafting reform measures for voters to consider in November that would legalize the drug, while others are considering allowing marijuana use for medical reasons.
One of the most interesting things about the debate to legalize marijuana is the people who actually support it. Although your cranky uncle might dismiss them as a bunch of California hippies, several A-listers are firmly riding on the legal marijuana bandwagon, and they aren’t shy about saying so.
So who in Hollywood is pounding the pavement in support of legal pot?
If you’re surprised by this one, you’ve probably been living in a cave, but rapper Snoop Dogg stands firmly in the corner of legalizing marijuana. Pot-smoking is a central theme in his musical oeuvre, plus he’s been arrested numerous times for possession, so it’s not unexpected that he would likely prefer to get it at the local CVS than a dealer. Snoop has been vocal about his support for legalization everywhere from on talk shows to his own live concerts.
Another recording artist who has occasionally vocalized support for the legal pot cause is John Mayer, who released a song in 2009 called “Who Says?” that began “Who says I can’t get stoned?” He’s inconsistent on whether he was referring to legalization, but has supported the cause in other contexts.
Comedic actor, Jack Black, is a very outspoken advocate for pot legalization, and even serves on the advisory board of the Marijuana Policy Project (MMP). It is a cause near and dear to his heart and he takes his advocacy very seriously. Though he admits to heavy drug use in his youth, Black now says he only smokes marijuana occasionally.
Woody Harrelson and pot go together like peanut butter and jelly. Not only does he frequently appear at rallies and other pro-legalization events, but he was arrested in the 1990s for planting four hemp seeds—to make a political statement, not to actually grow them. This very outspoken pro-marijuana actor also has served on the advisory board for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana (NORML) since 2003.
Political comedian Bill Maher makes no bones about his support of marijuana legalization. He sits on the same MMP advisory board as his “bud buddy,” Jack Black, as well as the NORML board, and participates in marijuana festivals and events. He’s vocal about the cause on his own show, Real Time with Bill Maher, and openly admits to being a regular user.
Actor Danny Glover came out as a supporter of legalization in 2010 when Proposition 19 was on the ballot in California. At a news conference in a Hollywood café, Glover officially announced his support for the measure, accompanied by several other activists including a former LAPD Deputy Chief and former New Mexico Governor. During the press conference, Glover argued that the existing laws are “draconian” and unfairly target Latinos and African-Americans.
Singer and songwriter Melissa Etheridge also appeared with Danny Glover at the Hollywood press conference supporting Proposition 19. As a breast cancer survivor, Etheridge understands the medical need for marijuana, stating, “I don’t want to look like a criminal to my children anymore. I want them to know this is a choice that you make as a responsible adult.”
Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman not only vocally supports legalization, but still smokes marijuana regularly at the age of 72, with no intention of ever stopping. He’s gone so far as to call the drug “God’s own weed.”