It used to be that if a celebrity were caught smoking marijuana, he or she would have to perform a whole song and dance to the tune of regret and shame. There’d be the pulled endorsements, the heartfelt public apology via print, the heartfelt public apology via talk show circuit, and the hefty donation to a drug rehabilitation center. And even after all the tears and penitence, some careers just couldn’t recover.
Luckily, more and more celebrities are refusing to apologize for using a substance that is safer than alcohol, and more sectors of society are refusing to stigmatize them for it.
With social followings in the millions, entertainers like Rihanna and Justin Bieber are in a unique position. They have a platform to educate people about the comparative dangers of marijuana versus alcohol and to reach out to elected officials to promote policy change. We can only hope that as the fear of ruined careers dissipates further, more celebrities will take advantage of that platform and help out the people who face much harsher consequences for making the safer choice: everyone else.