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Miss USA Candidates Field Questions About Marijuana


Legalize MarijuanaMarijuana Reform And The Miss USA Pageant

By Amber Langston, National Cannabis Coalition

In light of the recent Miss USA pageant, I would like to note that the directors there have done an enormous courtesy in asking all contestants their opinion on marijuana legalization, along with a few other preliminary questions which you can view on Youtube. It is interesting to get a cross section of the women (at least, debutante type women) across the country who are supposedly representing each of the states that make up our political body, and hear what they have to say on this issue. After two questions about themselves and one about pornography, each contestant was asked, “Do you believe marijuana should be legalized?”

I live in Missouri; my allies on the coasts have long lamented how we in the middle will be the last for change. However, I have noticed a lot of thoughtful and confident answers coming from women in many of the central parts of the country in support of cannabis legalization, and I don’t believe that we would have heard these answers five or ten years ago. Miss USA wants to win. Miss USA wants to be diplomatic and do the most good for all. Is it possible that the best thing for us all is to regulate and tax cannabis? Should we allow adults to do what they want to do if it doesn’t hurt other people, as Miss Nevada suggested when it comes to pornography? Or is pornography okay because you pay taxes, as Miss Florida believes, but not if you consume cannabis?

Publicly stating that legalization of cannabis is the better option for our country is something that takes a lot of balls from some feminine ladies who are doing a careful act on a tightrope to achieve their goals as Miss USA 2012. Although a Rasmussen poll put America strongly in favor of legalization at 56% just two weeks ago, the poll came out just after this interview — so I doubt the women in this contest were aware of the bolstered support they would have for their bravery. Indeed a number of ladies seemed to waffle with non-committal on legalization with support for medical — there’s too many to name them all, but some of the ones you might find most interesting include: Miss Florida, Miss Nevada, Miss Pennsylvania, Miss Mississippi, Miss West Virgininia.

Arizona, California, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Washington (though to be fair, Washington is waffling) all stated support for full legalization, representing 20% of the Miss USA constituency, as compared with 56% of the American constituency. Miss California, hailing from the state most influenced by the marijuana market, hoped it would prevent illegal buying and selling, thereby reducing crime in neighborhoods getting their living from an unregulated market. Miss Kentucky recognized that it’s her state’s biggest “cash crop”, and that legalization should accompany personal responsibility — a novel idea in today’s world. But frankly, Miss Tennessee said it all as far as I am concerned. Overall, the economic argument seemed to be the most persuasive argument for those in favor, though some expressed doubt.

I am most pleased that women in some of the most seemingly unlikely places are having the courage to state their favor for legalization — 10 out of 51 contestants (20%) were in support, and nearly everyone touted the benefits of medical marijuana. The only representatives in the ‘nug’atory were from Georgia, Idaho, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota and Virginia. Seemingly, these ladies don’t believe in even listening to your doctor’s consent!

Overall, I would have to say that I am encouraged by the public discussion on this issue. I couldn’t be more elated to know that, “what do you think of marijuana legalization?” is a softball question for Miss USA candidates. We’re about to end cannabis prohibition — and that’s a great thing.


Update: Miss Rhode Island, Olivia Culpo, has been crowned as Miss USA. She supports legalizing medical marijuana but does not support legalization for recreational use as she believes marijuana consumption to be a “bad habit” without economic or other benefits. Interestingly, this answer follows her statements on pornography, during which she supports the right of individuals to consume pornography because it is a “free country”. You can view her video here.

Published with special permission from the National Cannabis Coalition


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. I’m from South Dakota unfortunately and he no support doesn’t surprise me one bit. There are a TON of uneducated idiot republicans here

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    Cris Ericson, USMJP,
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  3.  That is so spot on. I would add to this simply where is this campaign? Why are we not on the main stream media with ads/commercials with the thousands of medical and scientific research studies. This country needs to know the facts about this plant and the wrongs that are being done by our government by keeping this prohibition in place. I think every American would like to know that only 6% of the land in America would be needed to support 100% of our energy needs in this country. I would much rather see fields of industrial hemp instead of oil rigs in our National Forests. I want to see this country free of it’s dependency on foreign oil.

  4. eating_sunshine on

    I guess this question is beneath them?  It seems like an interesting question to me.  A question TWB readers would be interested in.

  5. Don’t know if Media Relations is even close to the same as IT but Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is hiring for San Francisco if it is…
    Pro-Legalization Cops Seek Assistant Media Relations DirectorLaw Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) is seeking a talented and motivated individual to work in our media relations department on a part-time basis. LEAP is a nonprofit organization representing police officers, judges, prosecutors and other criminal justice professionals who want to legalize and regulate marijuana and other drugs after witnessing the failure of the “war on drugs” up close.The assistant media relations director will report to and work alongside LEAP’s full-time media relations director in efforts to inject the voices of pro-legalization law enforcers into high-profile news coverage of the rapidly advancing public debate about failed drug policies.Specifically, duties will include but are not limited to:* Writing op-eds and letters-to-the-editor.* Drafting, editing and distributing press releases.* Making follow-up pitch calls to reporters and producers.* Scanning the news to identify PR opportunities.* Using an online media database to generate lists of journalists to contact.* Building relationships with journalists.* Encouraging prominent bloggers to link to or write about interesting drug policy stories.* Posting comments mentioning LEAP on prominent blogs and online news articles.* Tracking, circulating and archiving LEAP’s news hits.* Interacting with supporters on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.Through these and other tactics, the assistant media relations director will help members of the organization’s 150-member bureau of law enforcement speakers make their voices heard in the increasingly prominent global drug policy discussion.The assistant media relations director will preferably – but not necessarily – be located in San Francisco, CA or Washington, DC, and will work three days a week (24 hours per week).QUALIFICATIONS:* Demonstrated ability to generate positive news coverage for advocacy efforts.
    * Familiarity with diverse news organizations across platforms (print, online, broadcast).
    * Excellent written and oral communications skills.
    * Commitment to LEAP’s mission to replace the “war on drugs” with legalized regulation.
    * Social media savvy.
    * Video editing, graphics and web design skills are major plusses.
    * Spanish language fluency a plus but not required.COMPENSATION:The assistant media relations director will be compensated at a competitive hourly rate commensurate with experience.TO APPLY:Please send a resume, cover letter and (preferably published) short writing sample to Tom Angell, LEAP’s media relations director, at media@leap.cc. Interviews are being conducted on a rolling basis, so interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The application deadline is June 15, 2012.More information about LEAP is available at http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com.

  6. Even the ones who favor legalization don’t have the right info. One said “It’s just as dangerous as alcohol”!! She is open minded about legalizing but she still thinks it is harmful in some way. We need a serious campaign in this country to get out the truth. Too many people still believe the lies simply because they have never been told anything different. 

  7. I’d ask, “Do you think marijuana consumption improves or diminishes the intellectual faculty?” As a learned man, I hate nothing more than to hear people say, “Yeah, weed makes people lazy and dumb, but that should be their right.” It is simply not true.  I’ll leave it to Johnny Green and Ninja Smoker to add the rest. 

  8. i live in tn. and it’s strange hearing that a girl from tn was for legalization. tn just passed a bill that would allow deer farming to be legal, but after numerous attempts for legislature to even consider the bill for the legalization . legislature shoots is down, just like the deer they hunt

  9. eating_sunshine on

    I would like to know what the top five marijuana questions The Weed Blog would ask these contestants?
    My top two would be: Has the government lied about marijuana?  Do you think marijuana is safer than tobacco and or alcohol?  

  10. I live in Missouri too and get pee tested. Anyone have a good IT job in Colorado for me?

    Oh it is good to see this question in Miss USA.

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