While it’s no secret that many of our favorite celebrities enjoy the occasional toke, a select few are also going the extra mile and using their platform to support the legalization of marijuana. Here’s a round-up of some of the biggest names supporting legalization.
Rising to fame in the swinging sixties, Jack Nicholson was no stranger to the party – counting Keith Richards and Jim Morrison as close friends. Nicholson has been open about using marijuana himself, and has said that instead of criminalizing marijuana, the focus should be put on dismantling the narcotics industry. Nicholson has also stated that if America was really concerned with improving the economy, they would legalize marijuana. Legalization would put a huge dent in the number of men currently incarcerated in America’s prisons, most of which are on drug-related charges – which costs taxpayers $40,000 per inmate per year.
Susan Sarandon has been a vocal advocate for legalization, as a life-long user of marijuana herself. She has spoken out about how the ‘war on drugs’ is in reality a huge waste of taxpayer’s money, and also “completely racist” – since most people arrested on drug related charges in the USA are people of color. Sarandon has also commented on how current drug policies only work to incarcerate individuals on the lowest levels of the drug trade, while cartel leaders avoid charges by trading information to the authorities. Sarandon supports full legalization of recreational use, which would provide a boost to the economy through taxation.
Snoop Dogg has been a life-long advocate for marijuana use through his music– but his enthusiasm for the plant doesn’t end there. Snoop has been speaking up about legalization for years, and even runs his own new digital media business Merry Jane that reports on increasing legalization. Snoop has also empathized with people who are currently still detained on marijuana related offences, despite increasing liberalization of drug laws. Appearing at Montreal’s C2 technology conference in May to talk about Canada’s legalization, Snoop stepped forward as a voice for those still imprisoned, stating “I just don’t want to be making profits when they are in jail. As a black man, I’ve been to jail for marijuana”.
During his campaign for the 2016 presidential election, Sanders pledged to legalize marijuana across the United States. Although his bid for president was unsuccessful, that has not stopped him from fighting for legalization. He recently announced his support for the Marijuana Justice Act, as a co-sponsor of the bill. The Marijuana Justice Act would allow for states to legalize marijuana without federal intervention, and if passed would also remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act.
While most people remember Cynthia Nixon as the straight-talking, no-nonsense Miranda Hobbes from HBO’s Sex and the City, she is also a long-time political activist – campaigning for women’s health and improving the public-school system. After years of playing the deadpan, straight-talking lawyer in a killer pantsuit Nixon has taken her penchant for politics past the silver screen and is currently running for governor of New York. Since announcing her gubernatorial bid, Nixon’s whole campaign has been focused around progressive politics – including the legalization of marijuana in New York. In a video uploaded to her twitter, Nixon highlighted the current racial bias in drug arrests, with over 80% of individuals incarcerated on marijuana-related charges being black or Latino.