The family that smokes together stays together? So it would seem in the house of Snoop Dogg, where the hip-hop legend not only tokes with his eldest son Corde (nicknamed Spank), he’s helping the 18-year-old launch a career as Spanky Danky, whose songs have such titles as "Rollin, Rollin, Rollin … Stoned," "California Gs" and "Commemoration of Vaporization."
"What better way to [learn] than from the master?," Snoop tells The Hollywood Reporter in a new cover story. He’s referring specifically to photos posted on Twitter showing son lighting father’s 2-foot-bong. Before Spank pressed send, Snoop didn’t flinch.
“My kids can do whatever the hell they want," he explains of his parenting philosophy. "For me to say otherwise would be hypocritical. A lot of motherfuckers don't have a relationship with their kids, and that's when they get on drugs and have suicidal thoughts and drive drunk. Me and my son is mellow. I'm his father, so I wanna show him the proper way because he looks up to me.”
Like Bob Marley and Willie Nelson, Snoop is a stoner symbol who has long espoused marijuana's positive uses as they pertain to health, creativity and recreation, even on the heels of being busted -- eight times and counting, most recently in Norway in June (he's been banned from entering the country for two years) and, before that, in Sierra Blanca, Texas, the same spot where Fiona Apple was arrested for hashish possession Sept. 19.
His new project Reincarnated, a film and album due out in 2013, the hip hop legend travels to the plant's adopted homeland and documents his life-changing experience out of which he emerged Snoop Lion. For the record, Snoop, a California resident, is a proud holder of what he calls "a platinum medical marijuana card," though to be sure, most of his green is gifted. Still, he hopes to see the drug fully -- and federally -- legalized in his lifetime.
What would America look like then? “There would be less high-speed chases, less robberies, less crime,” he says. “Go to Amsterdam or the Netherlands where it is legal and you see that the crime rate is nonexistent, the murder rate is probably under 10 percent, people learn to get along! There are people riding on bicycles being happy and it's because of the environment that's provided by the legalization of marijuana.”
Naturally, it felt proper for this reporter to remind the Doggfather that Amsterdam recently enacted a law prohibiting ease of access to tourists looking to smoke in the city’s coffeeshops. Says Snoop as only Snoop can: “That shit don't apply to me.”
Where the matter gets more complicated, however, is back home. Although more than 20 states have enacted laws permitting or decriminalizing the use of marijuana for medical reasons, President Obama has gotten plenty of heat from the so-called stoner contingent over his seesawing policies as they pertain to the federal statute (where marijuana, alongside heroin, is still classified as a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 for having "no accepted medical use"). Further frustrating some supporters, while Obama hasn’t been able to publicly make a stand for pot’s legal use, medicinal or otherwise, the president seemed to have no trouble enlisting stoner icons Harold and Kumar to star in an ad to promote his campaign.
How does Snoop see it? “What the f--k can he do?,” says the rapper who has declared his support for Obama many times in interviews and his own YouTube clips. Snoop continues: “At least the shit's been legalized in more states than when Bush was in office, but nobody’s paying attention to that. When Bush was president, I had to fight 15 weed cases at the same time all over the world … [Obama] loosened up screws in certain areas and opened up some eyes, but because he's a black man, his shit is gonna be microscoped and it'll be what he didn't do as opposed to what he did do.”
Does that mean there’s hope for POTUS second term? “It’s only been four years,” Snoop acknowledges, adding that history does tend to repeat itself. “Just like alcohol and prohibition, it’s a business,” he says. “Alcohol was legalized so it could be taxed. And alcohol and tobacco kill. If you legalize marijuana, it'll save lives and will put more money in the financial side, so why not?”
To be sure, if the two iconic figures ever come face-to-face, there’s bound to be some interesting conversation. “I ain't met the president yet,” says Snoop, “but when we finally lock palms -- you know, give him the old soul shake, that bare vibe on the black man's side -- that'll be exciting."