Your Dose of Pop is DPA’s contribution to a balanced media diet. We generally disseminate serious news about the serious disaster that is the drug war. However, a good deal of public opinion is shaped by the happenings in entertainment and culture, which makes them worth commenting on. Story ideas are always welcome. You can submit them here.
Here’s the latest skinny.
Growing up a teen in the 90’s, there is no other band that captured the thrill and angst of the time like Nirvana. Front man Kurt Cobain battled his demons in and out of his music and was also known for his anarchistic relationship with Courtney Love and their shared problematic drug use.
I initially side-eyed the announcement of the documentary release, and figured, let the corporate scrubbing commence – or so I thought.
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck premiered on HBO on May 4 and was produced by Cobain and Love’s only daughter, Frances Bean Cobain. It’s all there, the mental torment and spiraling addiction; Cobain is humanized and gifted to us through never-seen-before home videos and powerful storytelling. The film is harrowing and uncomfortably intimate. It punches you in the gut and makes you fall in love with the music all over again. See it.
Well, kind of sort of.
He’s been trending all week because of comments in an article published in The Daily Beast on the benefits of medical marijuana. As most of us know, the Oscar-winning and beloved actor from films such as Shawshank Redemption and Glory, suffered severe injuries to his arm and shoulder in a car accident in Mississippi seven years ago.
Luckily for all of us, Freeman recovered but has been in a great deal of pain since then. He says, “Marijuana has many useful uses. I have fibromyalgia pain in this arm, and the only thing that offers any relief is marijuana.”
The Drug Policy Alliance posted this photo on Facebook with the quote from the article and it’s reached over 3 million views.
But the appointed voice of God didn’t stop there. On the subject of legalization he says, “My first wife got me into it many years ago. How do I take it? However it comes! I’ll eat it, drink it, smoke it, snort it! This movement is really a long time coming, and it’s getting legs—longer legs. Now, the thrust is understanding that alcohol has no real medicinal use. Maybe if you have one drink it’ll quiet you down, but two or three and you’re fucked.”
We love you Mr. Freeman!
Hollywood action star Jackie Chan outmaneuvers a sense of compassion these days, even for his own son. Early in 2015, Jaycee Chan was sentenced to six months in a Chinese jail for marijuana possession in his home and for the more serious offense of "providing a shelter for others to abuse drugs."
When asked about his son’s arrest and conviction, Jackie Chan, who is also Singapore's first celebrity anti-drug ambassador, said he felt "ashamed" and that he was now more focused on his son, who he thought was a man, but is really “still a boy.”
Moreover, he doubled down on his anti-drug rhetoric and expressed support for the death penalty in certain drug offenses. At a time when the world is still reeling from Indonesia’s callous execution of 8 people for this very thing, Chan should be using his celebrity to push for compassion and treatment noting that these unconscionable laws do not reduce the availability of drugs in China or other countries, or protect people from drug abuse.
Let’s hope Jackie comes to his senses soon, for his sake and his son’s.
Melissa Franqui is the communications coordinator at the Drug Policy Alliance.