News & Politics

Watch: Neil DeGrasse Tyson Thinks Marijuana Should Be Legal

While the astrophysicist prefers reality to altered states, he doesn't believe pot should be illegal.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson speaking at the Starmus IV science festival in Trondheim, Norway (June 20, 2017).
Photo Credit: Photo: Thor Nielsen/Norwegian University of Science and Technology/Flickr

Neil deGrasse Tyson, the beloved astrophysicist, showed up on StarTalk's inaugural Facebook Live show to promote his book Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, but wound up discussing the legalization of marijuana.

Tom Angell, from a pro-legalization group called Marijuana Majority, asked Tyson if he agreed with the late Carl Sagan, who believed marijuana should be legal.

Tyson responded, "If you really analyze it, relative to other things that are legal, there’s no reason for it to ever have been made illegal in the system of laws."

He elaborated that alcohol is legal and a more dangerous substance than marijuana.

While pro-legalization, Tyson is not a fan of altered states on a personal level. In a 2015 Reddit AMA, Tyson wrote, “I don’t count myself among active recreational drug users. For me, the least altered state of awareness I can achieve is the one I seek, because that one is most likely to be closest to reality.”

For those who'd like to spend an hour listening to Tyson answer questions with his signature charm, the full video is embedded below.

Chris Sosa is an associate editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mic, Salon, Care2, Huffington Post and other publications. Previously, he was a campaign specialist and media spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisSosa.

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