Seth Rogen has claimed that marijuana is only illegal as it’s an easier way for the justice system to put Black people in prison. The 39-year-old comedian, who has his own cannabis brand called Houseplant, has always been vocal about his belief that criminal convictions for marijuana should be expunged and has pushed for legalization as part of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law (NORML), which advocates for a loosening of laws surrounding marijuana.
- Keeping marijuana illegal is an inherently “racist” policy. In an interview with the New York Times Magazine, Rogen insisted that marijuana never should have been illegal and that the continued prosecution of those who use it for medical and non-medical reasons is an inherently racist policy. “It’s insane to arrest people for something that never should have been illegal in the first place. It’s just a way to put Black people in jail,” he said.
- Marijuana isn’t for everyone but it is for Rogen. As an avid smoker, Rogen understands that weed isn’t for everyone, but he’s someone who sees the value in regular usage and doesn’t think that should be criminalized. “It’s just a tool we use to make our experience more palatable, and some people need those tools a lot more than others. For me it’s like shoes,” he explained. “For you it might be like sunglasses. Not everyone’s the same. If someone doesn’t need to smoke weed? Great. It’s the same as someone telling me they don’t wear glasses. ‘Mazel tov! You don’t wear glasses. I do!'”
- He has a point about the racist implication of weed convictions. As the ACLU reported in April 2020, Black people are 3.6 more likely to be arrested for marijuana-related offenses than white people even though just as many white people use it. Every single state in the country had disproportionate rates of imprisonment between Black and white people for marijuana usage which is just ridiculous.
- Hopefully we’ll see a change in the coming years. I do feel like legalization is an inevitable ending to this ridiculous, decades-long demonization, but how long it’ll take to get there is anyone’s guess. At least people like Rogen are continuing to be vocal about it!