My Speech for Stoners: Rick Accepts Award from High Times Magazine

I normally fly home from Europe in time for Hempfest, when over 100,000 people cap the summer by gathering in a Seattle park to call for the civil liberty to smoke marijuana in America. Because my home state passed I-502 (a referendum legalizing the adult recreational use of marijuana), the 22nd Annual Hempfest was the first one where smoking pot was legal at this “protestival.” I really wanted to be there, but I wanted to be in Russia and Iceland more, so I missed it.

But I did get home in time for High Times’ Cannabis Cup, which was celebrated in Seattle this year. And I was honored with their Lifetime Achievement Award for my work in helping to end the US government’s determined war on marijuana. (Yes, it’s early for a lifetime achievement award but, like the “most interesting man in the world” honors, I hope to earn two.)

Imagine being on stage in a smoke-filled room looking out over a thousand stoners and trying to get some serious ideas into the heads of these heads. I thought you might enjoy my three-minute attempt to do just that with this little video clip.

It’s been a good year for drug policy reform in the USA. Last November, Colorado also legalized the adult recreational use of marijuana. Last month the Obama administration gave us the go-ahead to make it a taxed and regulated market like alcohol. And the scare-mongering claims against I-502 (mostly by people who profit from the black market and fear legalizing pot will hurt their bottom line) have proven wrong. Here’s my take on a new kind of travel that’s no longer illegal in two states–and I’d bet is coming soon to what I now call “the Lower 48.”

If you can’t see the video below, watch it on YouTube.