Tony Bennett Calls for Drug Legalization Following the Death of Whitney Houston

A day after Whitney Houston’s unexpected death, singer Tony Bennett, music icon and winner of 17 Grammy Awards, paid tribute to the award-winning star at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy party. He took this opportunity not only to honor her life and accomplishments and sing a song in her memory, but also to advocate for the legalization of drugs.

(Photo Credit: AP)

In spite of the fact that there is speculation that Houston’s death was drug-related, given her history with drug use (including marijuana), Bennett bravely spoke up about what so many already know: the war on drugs is a failure and is more harmful to society than the drugs themselves. For marijuana offenses alone, there were over 850,000 arrests in 2010, and 88% of those were for simple possession.

Watch this video of Tony Bennett speaking up for change. He gets it, and he had the courage to say so.

(Author’s Edit: Original video was taken down by YouTube user. New video links to CNN’s coverage, with Tony Bennett’s comments, as well as a panel discussion including Arianna Huffington, who echoed Bennett’s sentiments that the war on drugs has failed.)

16 thoughts on “Tony Bennett Calls for Drug Legalization Following the Death of Whitney Houston”

  1. The frantic prohibitionist are already stirring up a spin on Whitney Houston’s death as a score to their cause.

  2. The message Tony Bennett gave is very caring and sincere. The prohibitionist will waste no time to make it a tabloid rag or another anti-drug propaganda commercial.

  3. I wish i had enough money to be a pharma co, cuz I would sell medical cannabis as my only prescriptions. If you dont want it, then go to your other pharma co and buy ther products. Lets face it, water is a life source, a medicine if you will, but the pharma co know they cant control water, so its legal. The sad facts are as long as the government and the pharma co are making money…..together or seperatly, they will fight us till the end. Im proud of the 8 states that are standing up to the federal government right now, and if you look back in time the last time this happened was around the civil war when virginia stood up for it people against the federal government. pharma co dont want to kill us on purpose but the money is the major thing in keeping cannabis out of the picture. Houston’s death is sad to take in, but like her and mr jackson, snd so many other no name people money is what matters and the rate or percent of deaths in comparrison to the ones that dont die is what makes it a hard situation for people to allow cannabis out in the public. The public needs to realize that cannabis is and has been used by almost every one you have come into contact with on a daily , thats right a daily basis. It is legal for a couple to have intament realationships behid closed doors, however on my way to church I would not like to drive by and see your spouse and you loving each other out on the front lawn, just like cannabis useage, it is being done on a daily basis but I dont want to see it done out in public………keep your personal affairs behind closed doors. I dont think you should have to lie about it or be ashamed about it, your not a bad person for it, just use your responsibility and dont allow your self to administer to our youth. We dont let our youth smoke cigarettes , and drink alcohol, so lets watch each other as family instead of criminals and not be afraid to let the family know what there children are doing. It takes a coulpe to have a child but this day and age it takes avillage to help raise them……unites states means we depended on each other to make this country work.
    so in conclusion I am not from the 8 states that are taking on the federal government but I am proud to be living in the era that the states are strong enough to stand up for its residents. cannabis is not as bad as we were made to believe, and responsibility starts at home not in a court room…….

  4. Thanks for letting us know, Owen. I’ve updated the link, which now links to CNN’s coverage, starting with Tony Bennett’s comments.

  5. I’m concerned at a comment by @chris, above:

    “… the last time this happened was around the civil war when virginia stood up for it people against the federal government.”

    Does chris remember that “virginia” stood up for the Property Right of the slave-owner to be protected from the slave escaping to Cannecticut or Cannada (modern puns intentional), and from some “liberator” (liberal?) helping a slave escape, deemed a crime of Property Theft under Fugitive Slave Laws of the 1850′s– a crime punishable by various statutory punishments and also frequently by lynch/death.

    The true equivalent to “virginia” in the 1850′s is the Property Rights of the hot burning carbon monoxide $igarette industry’s empire built on 45,000,000 slaves in the US and 1.2 billion worldwide. Big 2WackGo’s frantic fight against cannabis shows the vindictive rage of the slave-owner. $igarette addiction targets low-income, less-educated classes; typically a victim makes $20,000 a year, spends $2000 on $igarettes (10% slave, and there are worse), damaging children and family.

    Cannabis can doom this empire by

    (a) permitting youngsters to substitute cannabis for tobacco and by-pass nicotine addiction recruitment;

    (b) helping its users, and eventually those of tobacco as well, eliminate the 500-mg-per-lightup “joint” or “blunt” and eventually typical 700-mg-per-lightup $igarette— destroying the “Industry” profit margin!— by switching to 25-mg screened “one-hitter” (single-toke utensil) with a flexible long drawtube, the cannabinoid e-cigarette (what is happening with “Vapor Rush”, announced in Califnornia in 2010?) and many commercially successful plug-in vaporizers.

  6. I’m a little disappointed here actually. Not only was that a terribly inappropriate time to bring it up, but also justifies the federal argument.

    “All these people have died due to drugs, every one an overdose, let’s legalize it.”

    Not that I’m against legalization, just felt that he made our side lose ground there.

  7. i fully support what tony was saying. there is no winning this war on drugs. while i do believe there are terribly addictive and dangerous drugs out there, trying to curtail them has not worked. ever. and you cannot classify cannibis in the realm of dangerous drugs. i sincerely believe dear Whitney would not have died from an overdose of cannibis!

  8. What, is Tony Bennet out of his mind? I’m ok with Marijuana but DRUGS? NO WAY! I think he’s losing it and I realize this can happen. Please let this in know way confuse Americans or MPP. If we let the country run freely the use of cocaine, heroin, etc., we risk the great strength of our country. Marijuana is not like those drugs.

  9. There is a hidden tragedy within the “war on drugs” of which most people are unaware. Having practiced law in the criminal arena for over two decades, I have seen this hidden tragedy play out time and time again. It is this: Because possessing and using illicit drugs makes one a criminal, those with such a problem stay silent and secretive about their use. Those individuals are reluctant to get medical attention for thier addiction/use for fear that their doctor will alert the authorities. So, their “problem” becomes more severe, until finally they are placed in the criminal justice system; our taxpayer dollars then feed the system, which includes law enforcement, rehabilitation providers, Court-appointed attorneys, Court personnel, corrections employees, and probation/parole agents. The “war on drugs” is needlessly costing lives, fortunes, and families by viewing any involvement in “street” drugs as a public criminal matter, rather than a private medical matter. Whitney Houston may just be the most visible victim in this long-failed approach.

  10. I shouldn’t have made any comments because her personal and professional life was such a mystery until the media exploits her in public over cannabis.

  11. I have never known of any one to die from smoking cannibas, I have serious back issues and the dr had me on msir do you know what that is ? It is imediate relesase morphine after 3 months of that crap I was messed up . I can take a couple of tokes of cannnabis and get more relief that lets me meditate the pain away, I am against all street drugs, and the pharmacdical company are making a fortune from our misary, We all should take that to congress , we could tax cannabis and get our depicite under control , but then the phar. comp wont make near what they do with drugs that completely alter our minds.
    Take a stand now before it too late for our younger generation to escape the pill factories

  12. I don’t know if making all drugs legal is going to cure all the problems in the world.I can tell you them being illegal hasn’t solved much.

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