At a BMI panel yesterday, rap artist and marijuana enthusiast Snoop Dogg lit up a joint and smoked it in front of an audience. The discussion was an annual pre-Grammy Awards event called, “How I Wrote That Song.” According to Fox News, he smoked a large rolled marijuana cigarette on stage with B.o.B while other artists such as Busta Rhymes and Luke Laird discussed albums they had worked on, as well as the ones that had influenced them. While I realize that Snoop Dogg smoking weed isn’t exactly breaking news, I do think it opens the door for a discussion about celebrities smoking pot publicly.
First of all, I have no qualms with marijuana. I think it can massively benefit many people (and have had multiple doctors suggest it as potentially being helpful for my own conditions’ symptoms). I don’t want to argue that aspect at all; I am just very curious to see what everybody thinks about the idea of a celebrity smoking weed onstage in front of potentially hundreds — if not more who watch at home — of fans.
On the one hand, it means that he’s being honest about his drug use. Granted, he has never not been honest about this particular drug — after all, he played a huge role on Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic” — and this surely isn’t the first time this has happened. But it comes at a divisive time for marijuana: people now, more than ever, are in support of its legalization. I myself live in a state (Oregon) that allows people to get pot with a prescription, and previously lived in a state (California) where nearly everyone I knew smoked weed, including multiple friends who sold it legally. For the people in these states, a celebrity smoking weed isn’t a big deal; it’s just a step to normalizing the drug for the public. For those in states where marijuana use is a huge deal, this is much different, as a celebrity using drugs in a public environment is totally bizarre. For those who are opposed to its legalization, or even just wish it would remain a purely medical and private thing, this use might be seen as excessive or showboating.
Also, it’s semi-worth noting that Fox News’ coverage of the story is kind of amusing in its dramatics:
The rapper smoked marijuana during Saturday’s panel discussion, lighting up a large, Kush-filled blunt on stage at The Roxy. He briefly passed it off to B.o.B before methodically reducing it to ash over a 15-minute period. The panel also included Busta Rhymes and songwriters Luke Laird and Evan Bogart, all of whom abstained — at least on stage.
It’s a little bit of a rude move to imply that the latter artists would somehow be willing to smoke pot backstage, but I mostly like the description of Snoop smoking a “large, Kush-filled blunt” and “methodically reducing it to ash.” I suppose it sounds a bit better than, “Snoop smoked a giant blunt in fifteen minutes,” but it also sounds a little silly.
In any case, weed is going to remain controversial for a while. Legally controversial, at the very least, as the use of it is increasingly more acceptable and much less taboo than fifteen or twenty years ago. Perhaps famous people being so blunt (pun not intended) about using it is a positive thing.
So, what do you folks think? Should celebrities be smoking weed in front of fans and large audiences? Or is it best kept behind closed doors?
Photo: Judy Eddy/WENN.com