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Bill Nye Likes Legalization, But Not Marijuana



The Science Guy is down with legalizing marijuana, but he doesn’t consume cannabis himself.

“I lived in Washington State for a long time, and Washington State legalized it in 2012. We legalized marijuana, we tax it,” Bill Nye said in a interview published this week by NowThis. “We have a lot of tax revenue. It’s no longer criminalized. We don’t spend money on the police department. We spend money regulating the industry in the same way we regulate other substances.”

But even though he recognizes legalization’s benefits, don’t mistake Nye for a cannabis connoisseur.

“I don’t like the smell. I just don’t like it,” he said. “One time in college I tried it, and I’m not good at smoking. I didn’t put in the hours to get good at smoking.”

In Nye’s eyes, marijuana use can have negative effects.

“When I played ultimate frisbee very seriously, these guys I would play with would get high and they sucked when they were high,” he said.

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want the government to loosen its grip on cannabis.

“What’s happened with marijuana is it’s a Schedule I drug, which means it’s presumed to be addictive and it’s presumed to have no medical value. Yet people are using it for all these medical applications,” he said. “So well, let’s study it. Well, you’re not allowed to study it because it’s a Schedule I drug… So that has to be sorted out.”

In touting the benefits of legalization, the science guy is in alignment with the late Carl Sagan, under whom Nye studied astronomy at Cornell University.

Fellow Sagan protégé Neil deGrasse Tyson also recently endorsed legalization in response to a question from a Marijuana Moment journalist.

Neil deGrasse Tyson Backs Legalizing Marijuana

Featured image screengrab courtesy of NowThis.

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 20-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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