Seth Rogen: His Role in Cannabis Activism Beyond Starring in 'Stoner Flicks' - Culture | MERRY JANE
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Seth Rogen: His Role in Cannabis Activism Beyond Starring in 'Stoner Flicks'

Actor Seth Rogen is connected to the world of weed beyond his infamous cross joints.

by Avital Norman Nathman

Actor Seth Rogen might be best known for his affinity for playing adorkable stoners in Judd Apatow films, but that's not his only connection to the world of weed. In fact, Rogen uses his Hollywood platform in order to amplify his voice when it comes to being a cannabis activist.

As Rogen's film career began to explode, he was no less quiet about his advocacy for cannabis. And in fact, the two tend to go hand in hand for the actor. In 2007, Rogen was named "Stoner of the Year," by High Times magazine, an honor celebrated by NORML at their annual national conference. Rogen, who is also a member of NORML, uses that "Stoner of the Year" (Decade? Millennium?!) persona often, when talking about his appreciation for cannabis. He even allowed his image to be used for a "Let's be blunt, it's good" ad campaign.

What can seem like silly stoner humor often also brings with it some well thought out advocacy. In a 2009 interview for Playboy magazine, Rogen observed the broken legal system surrounding marijuana: "When I first came to L.A. I got caught smoking weed on a beach in Malibu and had to go to court. It was the craziest thing ever. I was thinking, 'We’re in Los Angeles. There are probably 400 people getting murdered at this second, and these two cops are taking an hour to write up my court summons for smoking a joint on the beach.' That just seemed so fucking ridiculous to me."

In addition to talking about the messed up legal infrastructure surrounding marijuana (something that was totally foreign to him, hailing from the less stringent country of Canada), Rogen also plays a big role in normalizing the idea of an adult getting high, by talking about his habit casually and without shame.  While it might seem like no big deal to be a celebrity who is so outspoken about cannabis, the reality is that it could hurt on some level. In fact, many regular marijuana enthusiasts feel like they need to be discreet or secretive about their own habits, and having someone like Seth Rogen be so brazen in his out and proud use of cannabis is a pretty powerful thing.

Rogen uses his status as a stoner icon to gain not only the respect, trust and admiration of fellow cannabis enthusiasts, but of those who might not normally partake, for instance in this great interview with David Letterman. Each time his penchant for pot is brought up in an interview, Rogen responds in a way that shows he's not ashamed or embarrassed about it, and that it's really not a big deal. This goes a long way in reducing the stigma surrounding marijuana use.

In 2014, Rolling Stone magazine made their own declaration, branding Rogen the "Stoner King of Hollywoood," in a December issue cover story. The profile, which describes Rogen as a smart, witty comedian, is just another way that Rogen continues to show that you can be a successful comedian, actor and businessman, while enjoying marijuana.


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Avital Norman Nathman is a freelance writer and professional feminist killjoy. Her work has been featured in Bitch Magazine, Cosmopolitan, The New York Times, The Frisky, SheKnows, CNN, and more. Follow her on Twitter @TheMamafesto



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