Website Unveils Unlikely Legal Pot "Advocates"

By Tony O'Neill 10/22/12

Marijuana Majority propagates the pro-legalization views of a multitude of famous faces—including some that will raise eyebrows.

Rick Perry is one of several surprising legal
pot advocates.
Photo via

As the push to legalize marijuana picks up steam in Colorado, Washington and Oregon and support for legalization becomes increasingly mainstream, an interesting site called Marijuana Majority has recently gone live. It aims to show visitors “just how mainstream this debate has become by viewing and sharing visually appealing lists of elected officials, actors, medical organizations and business leaders who support solutions like decriminalizing marijuana possession, allowing medical marijuana or legalizing and regulating marijuana sales for adult use.”

The result is arresting, with a broad cross section of pro-legalization voices. Of course the usual anti-prohibition stalwarts are there: Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Richard Branson, Vincente Fox, and Brad Pitt. But a few of the faces are sure to make anyone who's been watching this issue do a huge double take. Like Bill O’Reilly. On the site he's quoted as saying, “My philosophy is if you want to smoke marijuana in your basement, I don't care. I'm not going to get a search warrant and kick your door in. I think that's foolish... But...if you get behind the wheel of a car, if you sell the dope to my kid, if my kid sees you smoking...I then will demand that the authorities protect me and my family from you, the marijuana smoker in public. Am I wrong?” (Well, Bill, many would say that you are). It’s hardly a ringing endorsement of ending prohibition, and even this is rather at odds with most of his public statements on the matter.

Other eye-popping names include failed Republican nominee Rick Perry: “[If] you want to go somewhere where you can smoke medicinal weed, then you ought to be able to do that,” he says. But under his watch, 68,758 Texans were imprisoned for marijuana possession in 2007 alone. Then there's New Jersey governor Chris Christie. As NJ slowly rolls out some MMJ reforms passed three years ago, Christie has done everything in his power to block them, some tepid pro-legalization overtures notwithstanding (“I don't believe that the only weapon we use against the drug problem is incarceration. I just don't think it's worked, and I think we see it over and over again that there's evidence that it hasn't.”)

Efforts to mobilize potential voters on this crucial issue should be applauded. But it'll strike anti-prohibitionists as strange that anyone in the movement would lie down with the likes of O’Reilly or Perry, when they're so clearly on the other side of the fence. Still, many of the site's other advocates for change in US drug laws will be much more effective. People may try to paint this as a “liberal” issue, or about “right vs. left”—but in truth, it’s neither. It’s about human rights, the economy and common sense. As they say in the rooms, "Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results."

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Tony O'Neill, a regular contributor to The Fix, is the author of several novels, including Digging the VeinDown and Out on Murder Mile and Sick City. He also co-authored the New York Times bestseller Hero of the Underground (with Jason Peter) and the Los Angeles Times bestseller Neon Angel (with Cherie Currie). He lives in New York with his wife and daughter. You can follow Tony on Twitter.