Music and marijuana are two things that just go together. Whether it is with the Harlem jazz kings from the 1930′s, or Black Sabbath singing “Sweet Leaf” in 1971, or even Dr. Dre’s The Chronic from 2001. Beats and buds complement each other, like peanut butter & jelly or fish and chips. But why? There is the classic response, “Oh man, the music is so much better when I’m high.” That’s just not true. Cannabis has no effect on music, movies, or literature. A crappy song will still be crappy when the listener is using marijuana. But it does alter brain chemistry, so a patient can enjoy it more when they are high. Marijuana induces euphoria and also affects perception and sensory input. So, when a person is on cannabis, they may be able to focus on the music more, to the exception of other prevailing stimuli. Users will spend more brain power on hearing the hooks and grooves. Riffs seem more amazing and background sounds “pop” more.
How do musicians feel about marijuana? First off, the music industry is just that, an industry for music and money. So, many musicians may use marijuana in the songs and marketing speech as a draw. It is controversial, rebellious and the youth love to see that. How do you tell the difference between the posers and the real guys? Listen to the lyrics, and pay attention to the bands when they’re offstage. Does the band support the decriminalization/legalization/pro-medical marijuana movement? If they’ve been around, making music and touring long enough, do they still use it? Many bands have been bitten hard by drug and alcohol abuse, and guys usually either sober up or drop dead. Once they’re clean, are they still in favor of use?
Cypress Hill is one of the foremost rap bands known for their use and lyrics about marijuana. How do they feel about it? For years they have hosted the annual Cypress Hill Smokeout in San Bernadino. In 2010, Sen Dog spoke to hiphopwired.com about his use and what he feels that society should be doing. He’s in favor of legalization to free up our jails and enforcement divisions to concentrate on true crime. “If you look at the prisons and jail, it has a lot of people in there that were put in for a dime bag of weed. So we are supporting the freedom for police to write less tickets and arrest more of the serious criminals.” Although he is pro-marijuana, he doesn’t believe in a carte blanche approach to legalization. Sen Dog laments his early teenage usage, recalling how it damaged his education and prospects at sports. It is something that should be kept away from children and teenagers, until they are old enough to understand and make intelligent decisions about it.
Some other musicians in favor the pro-marijuana movements include Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Tommy Chong (yes, he and Cheech Marin toured as a music/comedy act so they count), Warbringer (Heavy Metal), and many of the performers that have played the Smokeout over the years. Lets see if any artists cite marijuana as part of their ability to creative, perform, and feel good at tonight’s Grammy Awards.