The new leader of the free world isn’t the only thing we’re voting for on November 8. Just in California, there are a whole mess of issues on the ballot, among them: repealing the death penalty, a slightly more strict gun law, making condoms in porn sex mandatory, repealing the plastic bag law for some reason, and, certainly not least of all, the passing of Proposition 64 which, in a nutshell, would legalize recreational marijuana for Californians aged 21 and up and establish new sale and cultivation taxes.
Prop 64 is now getting some pretty heavy support in the form of celebrities. In fact, so many celebrities are in favor of the proposition that they decided they better form a club to organize their unyielding support for legal weed in the Golden State. That effort, “Artists for 64,” is composed of a wide variety of famous faces from Common, Jay-Z, Russell Simmons, and Ty Dolla $ign in the hip hop vector and movie and TV stars like Shailene Woodley, Sarah Silverman, Olivia Wilde, Tim Robbins, Danny Glover, and The Wire’s Michael K. Williams, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Williams’ statements are some of the most powerful from the group, which is appropriate as he’s famous for starring in what’s probably the most popular piece of anti-Drug War popular culture ever created. “I’m in recovery and don’t use marijuana, and my Christian faith is my rock when it comes to staying sober,” Williams said in a statement. “But I don’t believe people should be arrested for marijuana anymore. California can lead the country by voting yes on Prop 64.”
The failings of the Drug War were a major point for other artists in the collective. “Marijuana laws have been used as a tool by law enforcement to racially profile, harass, intimidate and criminalize mostly young African American and Latino men for decades,” said Danny Glover, the star of the Lethal Weapons films and The Royal Tenenbaums. “In California, the question on whether to legalize marijuana for adult use is a policy change that will have a lasting impact on historically marginalized communities.”
These artists are joined in their support of the ballot measure by what it calls “an unprecedented coalition of bipartisan supporters” including California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, the California Academy of Preventative Medicine, California Nurses Association, the United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council, California Medical Association, United Farm Workers, California State NAACP, the Courage Campaign, Equality California, the National Latino Officers Association, and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
The group doesn’t feature the only recognizable faces stumping for Prop 64. Former Golden State Warrior Al Harrington recently made a video with cultural critic and filmmaker Dream Hampton in which he discusses his use of medical cannabis to treat a staph infection and how it cured his grandmother’s glaucoma so she could read the Holy Bible for the first time in years. (Take that, conservative anti-pot peeps. Weed has actually allowed someone to read the Word of God.)