Neil deGrasse Tyson says there is “no reason” for cannabis to be illegal


Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

This week, famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said there is no reason for cannabis to have ever been made illegal.  

The remark was a response to a question which asked Tyson if he agreed with astrophysicist Carl Sagan who said cannabis should be legalized. Sagan wrote in an anonymous 1971 essay claiming the illegality of cannabis prevents the full utilization of a plant, which helps produce positive medicinal qualities physically and mentally.

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

Tyson compared the legality of cannabis and alcohol when he said alcohol can do much more damage than cannabis can to the body, although alcohol can be legally consumed.

An August Quinnipiac poll found more than 61 percent of Americans say cannabis should be legal, 94 percent support the medical use of cannabis, and three-quarters oppose the federal government enforcing federal cannabis laws in states that have legalized it.