Renowned Scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson Joins the Marijuana Majority


Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has been entertainingly educating the public on a whole host of scientific issues over the years, rising to a level of fame only seen by a select few scientists like Stephen Hawking and Tyson’s mentor, the late Carl Sagan. It was great for the cannabis community (and extra points if you are a proud nerd like me), to see Tyson agree with the great Carl Sagan that cannabis should never have been deemed illegal in the first place.

Many have long wondered Tyson’s stance on marijuana prohibition, but we never got a definitive answer until Tom Angell, Marijuana Majority chairman and blogger extraordinaire at MassRoots, managed to question Tyson via a StarTalk Q&A hosted by Chuck Nice. Tyson started StarTalk as a podcast back in 2009 and the popular program eventually spun off a TV program as well.

Tyson actually jumped the gun on answering the legalization question as Angell wisely led off his question with, “Do you agree with Carl Sagan…” which led the scientist to immediately blurt out “Yes,” noting that he rarely disagreed with one of his idols. Nice then continued to read the rest of the question, about whether marijuana should be legalized. Tyson chuckled and provided a thoughtful response, grounded, of course, in science.

“If you really analyze it,” the astrophysicist began, “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,” Chuck Nice responded.

“Alcohol is legal,” Tyson remarked, “and it can mess you up way more than smoking a few J’s.”

Angell, who I greatly admire, was understandably happy that Neil deGrasse Tyson provided a positive answer to his question on marijuana legalization. “Today I influenced one of the world’s most famous scientists to endorse legalizing marijuana. How’s your day going?” Tom posted on Facebook. Of course, Mr. Angell broke the story at Massroots.

Neil deGrasse Tyson agreeing with a majority of Americans that there is absolutely no reason to wage a war on marijuana, is a huge endorsement for the cannabis community. When Reefer Madness prohibitionists try to absurdly claim that science isn’t on the side of legalization, we have the ultimate response as we are backed by one of the most prominent scientists in modern history.

Anthony Johnson
About Anthony Johnson 155 Articles
Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the Political Action Committee responsible for Oregon's Measure 91 cannabis legalization campaign and co-owner of Duff Johnson Consulting. As Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Anthony served on the state's initial Marijuana Advisory Committee and he continues to advocate for sensible policies that decrease unnecessary arrests, protect patients' safe access, and help small businesses. With Duff Johnson Consulting, Anthony helps cannabis farmers, processors, retailers, and ancillary businesses with licensing, compliance, public relations, and marketing. DJC clients include the International Cannabis Business Conference, the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, Cannabliss, Natural Roots, and numerous medical cannabis cultivators that provide free cannabis to patients in need.Anthony co-hosts the Let's Hash It Out podcast, available here on Weed News, at, Sound Cloud, iTunes, and Stitcher. Anthony's blogs on Weed News are personal and don't necessarily reflect the views of any organization or company.