12 Latin Musicians Who’ve Spoken Up For Weed: ‘A Generation That Is Changing The Reality Of Cannabis’
As cannabis legalization continues to gain traction in Latin America and the rest of the world, and acceptance of the herb continues to increase, more and more artists are coming out of the proverbial closet in support of a plant that can be (and has been proven to be) medicine but has been criminalized for decades notwithstanding.
It might sound frivolous or insignificant to many, but it isn’t. Reshaping opinions, changing hearts and minds, requires a collective effort that celebrities can often propel. In prior articles, I’ve argued that the impact of the entertainment industry (CNBC) and celebrities in general (Rolling Stone) on the mainstreaming of weed is far greater than many believe it can be. It’s all about soft power.
Below is a follow-up to my last article on the topic, “16 Hispanic Artists Who Support Cannabis – And You Need To Check Out Right Now.” In this new list, we’ll look into 12 Latinx artists who recently expressed their support of cannabis publicly, and what they said about it.
First off, we have Anitta, a Brazilian singer-songwriter who boasts more than 63 million followers on Instagram alone. Around the election in Brazil, she came out in support of not only the now-president-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, but also of weed.
During an Instagram Live stream with Rio de Janeiro rapper Filipe Ret, the superstar criticized the war on drugs and spoke in favor of cannabis companies paying taxes.
“I am super supportive of legalizing drugs, like marijuana, so that people can have legal businesses that pay taxes and create jobs. End this war where only the rich win, the militias win, and only the poor die,” she declared.
Furthermore, the Latin pop artist assured, the fact that cannabis is illegal does not prevent people from continuing to use it. “I am in favor of legalizing companies. Banning drugs does not stop people from using them,” she stressed.
Famous Mexican rapper Erick Raul Alemán Ramirez, a.k.a. Alemán, also explained why he supports cannabis legalization in a Forbes interview where he argued that, as long as cannabis remains illegal and its users criminalized, the mission will not be accomplished.
“How can it be that alcohol and tobacco are legal, but cannabis is not?” he asked. “Not to mention all the medicinal benefits cannabis has. That’s the main and primary thing, but the recreational part is also important. I’d rather smoke a joint and stay at home or go outdoors and be able to smoke a joint without anyone bothering me. Cannabis has to be legal because cannabis changes the world, brings people together and makes everything more beautiful.”
“It’s also important to talk about job creation potential and the flow of money that legalization generates. Here in México, that would be a giant step,” he added.
Erick also dreams of being able to follow in the footsteps of Berner and his uncle Snoop: Getting into the cannabis business is the ultimate goal.
“The day cannabis is legal in Mexico, I’d like to give people first-hand access to the best-quality weed and its medicinal effects,” the rapper voiced.
The ultra-famous Puerto Rican singer, Ozuna, is a vocal advocate of cannabis.
“I think it is super important for people to begin to learn more about the subject of medical cannabis because it can be something super important for the future of healthcare,” Ozuna said in an interview on the popular radio show “Suelta la Sopa.”
“I know a lot of people, especially older people, who have found solace in cannabis. This is especially true for people suffering from cancer, rheumatic pain and things like that,” he added: “It is the future, it is something that we are contributing to health, something that we bring to the world and I think it is something very important that people become informed about medical marijuana.”
Chilean singer Soulfía loves marijuana too.
“For me, it is very important to have cannabis when it comes to going to the studio to create music,” she said in a recent interview.
Weed is a great creative ally for her: “Also after the shows to release energy. It is very important to me and it has opened many doors for me. I have a very nice relationship with cannabis.”
However, she’s been smoking less lately; cannabis makes her feel lethargic. “Sometimes one becomes more of a jerk and is bothered by doing things,” she said. “But weed makes me feel great, it takes me out of my comfort zone, it makes my mind rest when I’m doing many things at the same time.”
Talking about her country’s situation, she lamented the current state of affairs. “In Chile everyone smokes, it’s too normal, but it’s not legal and I don’t think it will be any time soon.”
Also featured on Forbes, Venezuelan rapper Akapellah, went deep into the topics of cannabis, legalization, stigma and progress.
“Cannabis was never the same as crack or anything else; but when you were scolded as a child, marijuana was a kind of scapegoat,” he said.
“There was too much interest in those who decided to include marijuana among the ten most ‘dangerous’ substances out there. Ridiculous studies were carried out with mice that were then improperly ‘translated’ to humans, all ridiculous, even more so at a time when doctors prescribed cigarettes and people smoked them in closed corridors and on airplanes,” the rapper pointed out.
For Pedro, this is the main reason to legalize marijuana: to stop locking up non-violent people, to stop persecuting those who do not deserve persecution.
On the other hand, the artist highlighted the medicinal and therapeutic properties of cannabis, nowadays proven by countless clinical and observational studies. “People who are in politics, they travel. They have to be aware; they are cultured people. I’m sure that all these people know about the positive, healing and medicinal properties of cannabis.”
The third leg of his argument revolves around cannabis for purely recreational uses. “I widely prefer 15 guys smoking a joint in a corner than 15 guys drinking rum. I don’t trust people who drink,” he confessed.
“I never hurt anyone with a joint in my hand. On the other hand, I am tired of seeing drunk people doing stupid things and I don’t trust drunk people, I don’t like them… I mean, they sell bottles of Four Loko [a canned alcoholic beverage so strong that it has been called ‘liquid cocaine’ because of its recipe, which includes guarana, taurine and, in the past, also caffeine] in supermarkets, but weed is illegal. It makes no sense.”
Brazilian Marcelo D2 has been a long-time cannabis advocate. He even launched his own CBD product line in Brazil recently.
“In matters like this [legalization], it is very difficult to walk alone. It’s very important that we can come together and move this agenda forward,” he said during an event in his home country in 2022.
“The first big step is to legalize and repair this big mistake. This War on Drugs is a historical mistake of humanity,” he concluded. “Hopefully, soon we’ll look back and see the absurdity of what we did.”
“I was in Berlin a while ago, and we were at the Wall and we thought ‘human beings make a lot of mistakes.’ They built a wall to put one thought on one side and another on the other. The big problem is how we repair this. We have to see who suffered from this, who died, who was arrested, who is still being prosecuted. I find the way Colorado has done it very interesting, which is to prioritize the people who have suffered with this in the marketplace.”
Colombian comedian, musician, actor and freestyle rapper Lokillo has also been a very prominent cannabis-related figure for years now. His famed TV character, Rastacuando, was a huge stoner. However, Yédison Ned Flórez Duarte, the person behind Lokillo, doesn’t really indulge in the herb.
“I go around the world removing the taboo from people. There are many adults who have many reservations, including my mother and my family. I am like the messenger of cannabis”, he revealed.
Medicinal or recreational, Lokillo Flores is all in on legal weed. “I absolutely respect marijuana and am very tolerant. It’s a topic I can talk about; but, more than saying ‘come, consume,’ I say ‘erase the taboos on the subject’. I know a lot of brilliant people and a lot of normal people who make it a part of their lives.”
Argentine musician La Valenti has a very special relationship with cannabis. Marijuana, she says, saved her life. Or, rather, it helped her continue to have the will to live when her existence was too torturous as she battled cancer.
Chemotherapy medications were overwhelming for Valentina. “They give you pills to eat, not to vomit, to go to the bathroom, to have saliva in your mouth… that’s the problem with cancer, that the only cure, which is chemotherapy (…) is extremely destructive. If it falls to the floor, the floor is ruined forever. Do you understand? Imagine when it enters your body,” she said.
That liquid, she added, is called “death ruby” or “red devil.”
“As soon as it enters your body, you completely depersonalize. All your senses stop working. You see and hear worse. You don’t have tact. The smells are not the same and everything tastes like metal. It’s torture. But that’s the only thing known so far that fights cancer cells.”
Marijuana helped her in that process in several ways. First and foremost it relieved the nausea that she experienced almost constantly. Any smell or taste made her want to vomit: and if she became dehydrated it could be very dangerous.
In fact, she started smoking weed again -and never stopped- after the second day of chemo, when she became dehydrated and ended up hospitalized. “After that I came home and said: ‘I’m going to build a giant trunk and I’m going to sit down to meditate and see what’s up.’ I sat down to meditate like crazy and I understood everything that was happening to me,” she recalled. “This is going to save my life, I thought, and then I said to myself: ‘I’m going to smoke all day and I’m not going to tell anyone, just my parents.'”
She administered cannabis like she did pills: several times a day and like clockwork. Weed made her feel hungry and being able to eat in her situation was vital.
“It’s the only thing that makes you feel better and no doctor tells you,” she lamented.
Weed also stimulated her creatively at a time in her life that was not very stimulating for her. Thanks to marijuana, she was able to stay active musically, she continued to release songs and even made a video. And she remembered: “Everyone told me that I couldn’t spend 12 hours on set and I did the same. Then I was in bed for 3 days, the truth is that my body couldn’t, but at least we were able to do it”.
Homer el Mero Mero
Another big supporter of cannabis is Homer el Mero Mero, a rapper from Argentina, who became the first argentine artist to drop his own cannabis strain, La Rucu Cucu OG.
“There is a very large cannabis movement in Argentina”, he said.
Homer consumes cannabis recreationally on a daily basis but, through that bond, assiduously finds a state of relaxation: weed is also his medicine. “It generates in me that state of tranquility. Without weed I would not be who I am,” he voiced.
“Marijuana is not a drug to me. It is a lifestyle,” he went on. “I think that, from the day I smoked my first joint, I didn’t stop anymore. Thank God. In fact, for four years there hasn’t been a single day that I haven’t smoked marijuana. From Monday to Monday, including holidays. And coincidentally, now at 31, I see that these last four years were the best of my life.”
Calling for full legalization (Argentina has a solid medical program and patient registry, REPROCANN, but no adult-use regulations), Homer brought up the case of Uruguay, the first country to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes.
“It’s ridiculous that cannabis is not legal yet. Luckily the world is changing. I do not want to say a certain time, but I really believe that in a short time we will be like Uruguay… Smoking cannot be a crime. As long as you don’t hurt anyone, everyone should be able to do what they want.”
In the uber-viral late-night Spanish TV show “La Resistencia,” the equally popular argentine rapper Trueno also spoke up on behalf of Mary Jane.
“I don’t get along very well with alcohol. I get quite bummed out the day after drinking,” he said. “That’s why the only thing I consume is a little something that’s medicinal, you know? Something that grows out of the ground: you plant a seed, you water it, it grows, and eventually produces a flower.”
For the rapper, it’s all about keeping it natural.
When the show’s host, David Broncano, asked him to share a message with the public, telling people not to consume cannabis – as requested by the Spanish government, he defiantly responded, “I tell people not to consume anything that is made in a laboratory, anything created by humans for you to consume… What nature offers you, on the other hand, must be appreciated with all the love in the world.”
Mon Laferte is a singer-songwriter who was born in Chile and later acquired her Mexican nationality. During a recent interview, she too supported legalization.
“Indeed, I feel that marijuana is not a drug, it is not something harmful to your body. We have sugar, totally harmful, totally a drug; we have cigarettes, I was a smoker for many years and fortunately, I gave up smoking a couple of years ago. Alcohol is super violent. So I would like marijuana to be legal. I think that many problems of violence would also end, and its curative and medicinal powers has already been proven,” she voiced.
And she continued: “I really do not see it as something bad, it is a plant that nature gave us, we must treat it with respect and it is indeed a medicine. Oops, I already defended marijuana!”
Also stemming from Chile is Seba “Don Cupón” Rojas, part of the famed group, Sondelvalle.
For him, cannabis should carry no stigma whatsoever. “I find that it is part of the daily life of my generation. I don’t think anyone has an ethical or moral conflict with it. I have my little plants, I water them and I give them love. We grew up in houses where marijuana is in our patios, on our balconies, in our sorrows, in our conversations.”
“I am part of a generation that is changing the reality of cannabis,” he ended.
Lead image by Javier Hasse, with courtesy photos and content from Agência Brasília, Silvio Tanaka, Silvina Frydlewsky, Secretaría de Cultura Ciudad de México.