Which 15 Celebrities Support Legal Cannabis in California?
As the hours tick down to Election Day on November 8th, states with cannabis initiatives on the ballot are scrambling for one final push of support. In California, 15 artists and celebrities have announced their backing of Proposition 4, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act that would legalize cannabis, in a new campaign released today. The campaign, called “Artists for Yes on 64,” provides details on Proposition 64 and explains why these celebrities have come together in support of passing it.
So who are these pro-cannabis celebrities, and what do you recognize them from? Here’s a rundown of who’s who.
How You Know Her: The actress has appeared on The O.C. before starring in the TV series The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Since then, she’s shifted her focus to movies, appearing in The Descendants, the Divergent series, The Fault in Our Stars, and, most recently, Snowden.
Why She’s Awesome: She’s a fan of all medicinal herbs, not just the cannabis plant. Woodley forages for plants, makes her own cheese, and even fashions toothpaste out of clay and coconut oil. It sounds a bit kooky, but she’s an environmentalist at heart, as demonstrated by her recent arrest for criminal trespassing in North Dakota while she protested the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through Native American land.
Watch Her In: The Descendants, her standout role as a teenager coming to grips with her mother’s impending death after a jet ski accident as she simultaneously attempts to repair her relationship with her father (played by George Clooney).
How You Know Him: The multitalented artist born Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. started his career in hip hop, releasing critically acclaimed albums and collaborating with legends like Kanye West, Questlove, Nas, De La Soul, and Lauryn Hill. Common is also an actor, having appeared in various films (Smokin’ Aces, American Gangster, Wanted, Selma) and TV series (Hell on Wheels). And in case his skills weren’t already diverse enough, he also models, writes poetry, and is a staunch activist for PETA, HIV/AIDS awareness, empowering underprivileged youth, and LGBTQ rights.
Why He’s Awesome: Because Common won a friggin’ Oscar alongside John Legend for Best Original Song. The duo penned “Glory” for the film Selma, which depicts Martin Luther King, Jr.’s march from Selma to Montgomery to protest equal voting rights for African Americans.
Watch Him: Perform “Glory” with John Legend. It’ll send chills down your spine.
How You Know Her: Oh hey, it’s another Prop 64 supporter who’s appeared on The O.C.! Wilde also starred in the TV series House and has starred in a number of films (Year One, TRON: Legacy, Cowboys & Aliens, Rush, Her, Drinking Buddies).
Why She’s Awesome: Well, for starters, she met Chris Farley when she was 10 years old. She also supports a number of causes, including education and health services in Haiti, the ACLU, youth voter organizations, and affordable healthcare.
Watch Her In: Her. Although her part in the Spike Jonze-directed sci-fi drama isn’t large, she makes an impression as the sweet woman who goes on a date with Joaquin Phoenix’s character. While the two initially seem to hit it off, their connection is severed when he can’t promise he’ll want to see her outside of a casual hookup.
How You Know Him: Must I explain? Pretty much everyone knows who Jay Z is. Born Shawn Carter, he’s one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. If you’re a fan of rap, you regard Jay Z as a living icon and practically know Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint, and The Black Album by heart. He also forms one half of the Beyonce/Jay Z power couple, as he’s married to one of the most popular artists in the world.
Why He’s Awesome: The man is multifaceted, that’s for sure. He founded Roc Nation, Rocawear, and Roc-A-Fella records. He owns a chain of upscale sports bars. He’s part-owner of the Brooklyn Nets. He acquired the streaming music service company Tidal. He holds the record for most number one albums by a solo artist (13) on the Billboard 200. And apparently he can get away with cheating on Beyonce as long as she can turn their marital problems into a critically acclaimed visual album.
Watch Him: Narrate the short film that appears on “Artists for Yes on 64″‘s website, “A History of the War on Drugs from Prohibition to Gold Rush.”
How You Know Him: Hip hop artists should be well familiar with Simmons, as he co-founded Def Jam Records in 1983. He’s since expanded his business empire, amassing companies in health and wellness, media, and lifestyle.
Why He’s Awesome: He’s a dedicated activist, advocating on behalf of animal rights, marriage equality, and minorities. Simmons also practices transcendental meditation, which I’m guessing comes in handy considering he’s friends with Donald Trump (to Simmons’ credit, he did recently criticize the Republican presidential candidate for Trump’s harsh comments towards Muslim immigrants, telling him in an open letter to “stop the bullshit”).
Watch Him: Make Snoop Dogg try a vegan pastrami sandwich.
How You Know Him: He’s appeared on the long-running TV series Grey’s Anatomy, as well as films like The Cabin in the Woods and Lee Daniels’ The Butler.
Why He’s Awesome: Have you seen his eyes? Dayum. On a more serious note, Williams serves as the board of directors at The Advancement Project, which advocates for civil rights. He also won the BET humanitarian award this year for his work highlighting racial injustice and police brutality.
Watch Him: Give his inspiring acceptance speech at the BET Awards.
How You Know Him: The actor has been working steadily for over 30 years, most memorably as the “perpetually getting too old for this shit” Detective Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon film series. He’s also appeared in The Color Purple, The Royal Tenenbaums, Saw, Be Kind Rewind, and about 180 other television and movie projects.
Why He’s Awesome: He voiced Professor Apollo in the animated series Captain Planet and the Planeteers! In a non-cartoon environmentalism note, he’s been an activist since he was a student attending San Francisco State University, where he collaborated in what would end up being the longest student walkout in U.S. history to establish a Department of Black Studies. The strike lasted five months and resulted in the creation of the first Department of Black Studies and the first School of Ethnic Studies in the United States. Since then, he’s brought awareness to a variety of issues, both global and domestic. And the man also loves him some jazz!
Watch Him In: A Lethal Weapon supercut where he utters his signature line several times.
How You Know Her: She’s the real-life subject whose memoir was adapted into the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Kerman served 13 months in a minimum security prison for money laundering and drug trafficking.
Why She’s Awesome: Since publishing her memoir detailing her experiences in prison, she’s become an advocate for prisoners’ rights and justice reform, and she currently sits on the board of the Women’s Prison Association.
Watch Her: Give a TedX talk about her experience in prison.
Michael K. Williams
How You Know Him: The actor has appeared in numerous projects throughout the course of his career, including the TV series Boardwalk Empire, the film 12 Years a Slave, and the absurdly fantastic R. Kelly hip hopera Trapped in the Closet, but for many of us he is and always will be Omar Little from one of the greatest television series of all time, The Wire.
Why He’s Awesome: Because he brought us Omar, the larger-than-life character that even President Obama has named as his favorite from the show.
Watch Him: Inspire the iconic line from The Wire, “Omar’s comin’!”
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How You Know Him: The singer/rapper has a number of hits under his belt, including YG’s “Toot It and Boot It” and his singles “Paranoid,” “Or Nah,” and “Blasé.”
Why He’s Awesome: I mean, the man does have his own cannabis strain.
Watch Him: Perform “Or Nah,” featuring The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa, and DJ Mustard. It’s, uh, explicit, but it has a pretty sweet beat.
How You Know Him: Harrington played in the NBA for 16 seasons as small forward, power forward, and center for a number of teams (the Pacers, the Hawks, the Warriors, the Knicks, the Nuggets, the Magic, and the Wizards), averaging 13.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game.
Why He’s Awesome: He’s a drug policy advocate who spoke candidly about how cannabis helped his ailing grandmother.
Watch Him: Score 41 points against the Denver Nuggets.
How You Know Him: The actor, screenwriter, director, producer, musician, and former partner of Ms. Susan Sarandon has had a long career in show business. You’ve probably seen him crawling through a river of shit and coming out clean on the other side in The Shawshank Redemption, as well as his roles in The Hudsucker Proxy (one of my personal favorites), Bull Durham, Mystic River, War of the Worlds, and various other projects.
Why He’s Awesome: Like Common, Robbins has also won an Oscar, only his was for his supporting actor performance in Mystic River. He was also in Howard the Duck and managed to still have a successful career afterwards.
Watch: His character Norville Barnes’ invention of the hula hoop take off in The Hudsucker Proxy.
How You Know Him: An unofficial member of The Fugees, Forté wrote for, produced, and performed with the iconic hip hop group. A classically trained violinist, he has also released four solo albums inspired by a range of musical influences.
Why He’s Awesome: He’s raised money for Russian orphanages, Operation Smile, and the Happy Hearts Fund, and he also works with at-risk youth to try and steer them away from crime and drugs. Forté also collaborates with Music Unites to promote music and other arts in underserved communities. Having been imprisoned himself (for the possession of cocaine with intent to distribute; his sentence was commuted by President George W. Bush), he also advocates for prison and drug law reform.
Watch Him: Perform alongside Pras and Wyclef Jean in Jean’s song, “We Trying to Stay Alive.”
How You Know Them: The bilingual hip hop group infuses the classic hip hop sound with reggae, dancehall, and reggaeton influences. These Panamanian cousins, Raka Rich and Raka Dun, have managed to succeed without the backing of a major label, as they instead release their music via iTunes and Bandcamp.
Why They’re Awesome: The group’s name derives from the Panamanian slur “rakataka,” which denotes someone from a ghetto or impoverished neighborhood. Rich and Dun’s goal is to uplift those who come from difficult backgrounds. Said Dun, “We decided to call ourselves Los Rakas [..] to show the world that not everything that comes from the ghetto is negative.”
Watch Them: Perform their song “Abrazame” (“hug me”).
How You Know Him: He’s one of the hottest hip hop artists working today, having been nominated for three Grammys for his songs “Like I Love You” and “Mercy.” His buddy Kanye West also appointed him president of West’s GOOD Music record label.
Why He’s Awesome: He was the best rapper in the legendary duo The Clipse, and he’s the perfect mix of a southern rapper with an east coast swag. (He’s also met with President Obama a couple of times — how’s that for high-class street cred?)
Watch Him: Perform M.P.A. featuring Kanye West, A&AP ROCKY, and The-Dream (also explicit, but hey, that’s art for you).
Lead Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr Creative Commons