Welcome to (Legal) Career Killers — a series that looks at how the law, lawyers or lawsuits killed a band’s or artist’s careers. In other words: They fought the law and the law won.
It might be hard for anyone who grew up at any point prior to the 2010s to wrap their heads around just how little many police departments, prosecutors, and governments care about marijuana now. As of this writing, cannabis is fully legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia and legal for medical use in 25 more (subject to some restrictions in some states pertaining to dosage or types of products).
That’s a far cry from when marijuana was widely considered a gateway drug to hardcore narcotics, like cocaine, heroin or LSD. “Leading medical researchers are coming to the conclusion that marijuana, pot, grass, whatever you want to call it, is probably the most dangerous drug in the United States,” said Ronald Reagan during his 1980 Presidential campaign. “And we haven’t begun to find out all of the ill-effects, but they are permanent ill-effects.”
During the tumultuous 1960s, marijuana was a staple of the counterculture — especially when it came to the music scene. Of course, that drew the attention of the 5-0, and as two major bands from that era found out, Johnny Law isn’t one that you want to mess with.(more…)