Actor Seth Rogen is helping to spread the word about how to get criminal records cleared as part of the second annual National Expungement Week (NEW) initiative.
In a PSA released last week, the noted marijuana enthusiast and co-owner of the cannabis company Houseplant, talks about how 77 million Americans have criminal records, adding that “a large amount of these records are for minor offenses and seriously impede millions of people’s ability to live.”
Having a record can impact “access to jobs, housing, education and the right to vote,” Rogen said. “It doesn’t help them and it doesn’t help this country,” Rogen said.
To facilitate expungements and help those with prior convictions, advocacy groups across the country are holding events from September 21-28 that will provide services like legal aid, voter registration, health screenings and employment workshops.
Cook County, Illinois State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who advocated for a marijuana legalization bill that her state’s governor signed in June, also called attention to the events in a series of Twitter posts.
Conviction relief is a complicated process but the @cookcountysao is working to make it easier, starting with marijuana convictions and our partnership with @codeforamerica! Learn more about our partnership here:
— State’s Attorney Kim Foxx (@SAKimFoxx) September 23, 2019
“There’s just millions and millions of people in America who can’t vote, who can’t get a job, who can’t do things that many, many people take for granted because they have been arrested for something that isn’t illegal anymore,” Rogen told VICE in an interview about his advocacy efforts. “To us, that is just unacceptable. Weed should have never have been illegal in the first place, that’s the premise that we operate under.”
While the NEW events aren’t exclusively for individuals who’ve been convicted for cannabis-related offenses, clearing marijuana records has been a focus of lawmakers and reform advocates as more states opt to legalize the plant. This is the second year in the row that NEW has organized these events.
Expungement is one restorative justice policy that advocates argue is essential to any legalization model—state or federal—because it benefits communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.
National Expungement Week is about to begin! What does that mean? Find out in this video, follow @expungementweek, SHARE the video & if you or someone you know might be eligible, visit https://t.co/3es4g3IAAQ Thanks to the organizers across the US making this happen! #NEWeek19 pic.twitter.com/fHmi787EED
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) September 19, 2019
Rogen said he recognizes that racial disparities in marijuana enforcement have put people of color at a disadvantage in the burgeoning legal industry and that many of those who haven’t been marginalized “have been rewarded by being some of the first to flock to the industry and profit off it.”
“We think it’s wildly important to understand the roots of the industry that you are trying to be a part of and to us there would be no way that we would even consider entering this space without really actively trying to rectify the issues that go along with being in the space, and one of the major ones is exactly what you’re saying,” he said.
While perhaps better known for his personal affection for cannabis, which has come across clearly in movies like Pineapple Express, Rogen has also incorporated marijuana into his philanthropic pursuits. He hosted an adult carnival featuring cannabis earlier this month, the proceeds of which went to support research into Alzheimer’s disease.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) August 26, 2019
He also testified before a congressional committee in 2014, joking that he wasn’t there to talk about marijuana but an issue he feels more passionate about: exploring cures for the degenerative disease.
Photo courtesy of YouTube/Expungement Week.
Snoop Dogg Has A Salaried Marijuana Blunt Roller On Staff
Snoop Dogg pays a person between $40,000-$50,000 per year to roll blunts for him, he said during a recent appearance on The Howard Stern Show.
Comedian Seth Rogen confirmed that he’s watched the employee practice his craft during sessions with Snoop.
“He knows how to gauge the look on somebody’s face when it seems like they want a blunt, and if they do, he gives you one,” Rogen said.
“Timing. That motherfucker’s timing is impeccable,” Snoop said.
Stern asked Snoop to clarify if this person was actually hired by him and the rapper replied “that’s his J-O-B, his occupation.”
“On his resume, it says, ‘what do you do? I’m a blunt roller,” he said. “P-B-R, professional blunt roller.”
“If you’re great at something I need, I’m hiring you.”
Not only does Snoop pay him upwards of $50,000 to roll blunts, the employee also gets perks: he’s welcome to smoke the marijuana he rolls, goes on all-expense-paid trips while Snoop is traveling on tours and gets free items like clothing whenever companies give their products to the artist.
That seems like a pretty good deal compared to an opening within the federal government to mass produce joints for research purposes. The contractor who secures that position is subject to drug testing and presumably isn’t touring the world on the government’s dime.
That said, the job with Snoop likely isn’t a walk in the park. In a Reddit AMA in 2012, the rapper said he smokes 81 blunts per day.
Rogen said he’s spent hours smoking with Snoop and has found himself mesmerized by the worker’s craft.
“There’s been like 40 minutes where I’m like, ‘I’m just watching this guy and I’m just going to see what is going on here,'” he said, “As someone who smokes a lot of weed, it’s fucking fascinating.”
“Honestly, the amount of time I spend rolling joints, it might be worth my while financially to hire someone to do that,” Rogen said.
A video of the comments, released on Tuesday, is more cannabis content from the same Stern interview where Snoop and Rogen also offered advice on smoking marijuana for novices.
Photo courtesy of YouTube/The Howard Stern Show.
Police Ask Florida Man To Stop Calling 911 About His Stolen Marijuana
A Florida sheriff’s department had to ask a man to stop repeatedly calling 911 to report his roommate allegedly stealing $20 worth of marijuana this weekend.
The Pasco Sheriff’s Office shared details about the incident in a video posted on Twitter on Saturday as part of its “#TweetAlong” program, where viewers can a behind-the-scenes look at law enforcement activities.
“Alright, so I just received a call—a guy is calling in saying his roommate stole his weed, $20 worth, and he’s upset,” Deputy Neal Zalva said in the video. “He keeps calling 911 so I have to give a call to tell him to stop calling about this weed.”
— Pasco Sheriff (@PascoSheriff) October 13, 2019
About an hour later, the deputy gave an update.
“Going back to the guy calling in to report his drugs stolen, I called him and let him know not to call the sheriff’s office and report his drugs,” he said. “He started to freak out a little bit on the phone and then hung up on me shortly after.”
— Pasco Sheriff (@PascoSheriff) October 13, 2019
While medical cannabis is legal in Florida, low-level possession (under 20 grams) without a patient certification is still a misdemeanor offense that’s punishable by a maximum $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.
The department told the Associated Press that no charges were filed against the caller.
There are two measures seeking to legalize marijuana for adult use in the state in 2020, including one that’s being backed by industry stakeholders. Organizers for the other campaign submitted enough signatures in July to prompt a state Supreme Court review of its ballot language.
Seth Rogen And Snoop Dogg Offer Marijuana Advice To First-Time Consumers
Seth Rogen and Snoop Dogg have some advice for first-time marijuana consumers: if you bump into them and want to sesh, limit yourself to one hit—or even half a hit.
The cannabis icons joked about their shared love for the plant and offered some tips for novices during an appearance on The Howard Stern Show on Tuesday.
Stern started by asking if the pair had smoked together before. Not surprisingly, they confirmed participating in joint sessions and both agreed that they were enjoyable experiences
“What do you mean when you say you enjoy smoking with Seth?” the host asked Snoop. “Are there people who can bum you out?”
“Yeah, because they talk too motherfuckin’ much and they just get in the way, but Seth enjoys the moment. He’s creative,” the rapper replied. “This motherfucker knows how to make a joint that looks like a cross.”
“He’s a bad motherfucker at that,” he said. “When he pulled that cross out, I was like, ‘God, let there be light!'”
Stern also brought up the fact that one of the show’s producers, JD Harmeyer, planned to smoke cannabis for the first time. For the occasion, Stern told Harmeyer he should probably stick to no more than three hits, and he asked his guests if that was good advice.
“I’d start with one,” Rogen said.
“I’d say a half of one,” Snoop said.
“This is from two guys who have had too many motherfuckers come up and get way too high,” Rogen added.
“And fall out,” Snoop said. “I have a lot of people [say], ‘my dream is to smoke with you.’ Bang. He dying, I’m gone.”
On Monday, actress Jennifer Aniston also gave Harmeyer advice and urged him to “pace yourself” because “it could be the best day of your life or the worst day of your life” depending on how much he smoked.
Later on Tuesday’s show, Snoop and Rogen gave Harmeyer some more advice about what kind of cannabis to smoke while flipping through a menu that appears to be from the nation’s first marijuana cafe, operated by Lowell Farms in Los Angeles.
Snoop said that the producer should stick to a sativa “because it’s a little bit lighter and it’s more of an introduction.”
Rogen agreed that it should be a sativa, but he said the concentration of THC should be on the higher end “to make sure you actually feel something because you might not.”
“But again, one fucking hit,” the actor, who also owns a cannabis company called Houseplant, reiterated.
Rogen has also leveraged his marijuana stardom for philanthropic purposes, putting on an adult carnival where the plant was featured to raise money for research into Alzheimer’s disease.
He appeared at a congressional hearing in 2014 and joked that while people might expect him to advocate for marijuana reform before the Senate committee, he was actually there to promote research into the disease, which his mother-in-law suffers from.
More recently, Rogen participated in a PSA meant to raise awareness of National Expungement Week, a series of events that took place throughout the country last month meant to help people erase criminal convictions, including those for non-violent cannabis offenses, from their records.
Photo courtesy of YouTube/The Howard Stern Show.