Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, among the most well-known living scientists this side of Stephen Hawking, said this week that “there’s no reason for [marijuana] to ever have been made illegal.”
The remark came in response to a question submitted by Tom Angell of the pro-legalization group Marijuana Majority. Angell asked Tyson if he agreed with astrophysicist Carl Sagan that marijuana should be legalized.
“If you really analyze it,” Tyson said, “relative to other things that are legal, there’s no reason for it to ever have been made illegal in the system of laws.”
“That is extremely rational, which I expect from you, and you’re absolutely right,” replied host Chuck Nice.
“Alcohol is legal,” Tyson added, “and it can mess you up way more than smoking a few J’s.”
Nice then spent several minutes ribbing Tyson over his archaic choice of marijuana slang.
“The last time I was like, in a cloud of it? That’s how people spoke,” Tyson said.
Tyson has in many ways followed the late Carl Sagan’s footsteps in becoming a well-known evangelist for space science and the scientific method more broadly. Sagan, most famous for the television series “Cosmos” (which Tyson later rebooted), was a lifelong marijuana user who wrote extensively — albeit privately — about what he saw as the benefits of the drug. [Read more at The Washington Post]