PBS’ Rick Steves will lend ‘European Perspective’ to the Legal Marijuana Ballot Question in Massachusetts
Travel show host and author Rick Steves, who in addition to leading PBS viewers on televised tours of Europe has been an advocate for legalizing marijuana, is lending his support to the Yes on 4 campaign in Massachusetts.
Steves will be making a four-day tour through the state in October, hoping to convince voters to approve the ballot question that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state, the campaign announced Wednesday.
He is also pledging to match donations to the legalization effort with $100,000.
“There are so many reasons to end the prohibition on marijuana,” Steves says in a release. “Whether you’re concerned about the well-being of children, fairness for our minority communities, redirecting money away from criminals and into our state’s coffers, stemming the horrific bloodshed in Mexico, or civil liberties, it is clearly time for a new approach.”
The polite adventurer has lent his support and public speaking chops to pro-pot efforts around the country, giving talks, penning op-eds, and giving countless interviews to media in states weighing legalization.
He has said throughout his advocacy for legal pot that he wants to provide a “European perspective on drugs.” By that he means a more lenient, do-as-you-please attitude, and efforts to combat drug abuse through education campaigns, rather than through the criminal justice system.
Arguments he has made have not been focused solely on the impact of drug laws on the disadvantaged or the potential for tax revenue—the approach that many proponents of Question 4 have taken. He doesn’t encourage people to smoke pot, but embraces the drug for what it is, has likened getting high to traveling (“To me, high is a place. … And when I want to go there, I want to go there.“), and earlier this year, he shared a photo on Facebook of himself sitting at a piano bench holding up a wine glass filled with buds of cannabis.
“I’m a hardworking, tax-paying, kid-raising, church-going citizen of the United States,” the caption to the photo reads. “And if I work hard all day long and want to go home, smoke a joint, and just stare at the fireplace for three hours — that is my civil liberty.”
Discussing what he thought about people who might spurn TV show and travel guides, or avoid going on one of his tours, he had this to say: “And all I can think is Europe’s gonna be a lot more fun without you.”
Steves was not available for an interview on Wednesday, according to spokeswoman Francy Wade.
“Rick is currently in Europe,” says Wade.
Here he is at Seattle HempFest:
Below are the dates and times for Steves’ Massachusetts appearances, per the release:
TUESDAY OCTOBER 11
It’s Time for a Conversation: Rick Steves on why legalization is good citizenship
Sponsored by UMass Campus Cannabis Reform Coalition
Time: 7 P.M.
Location: Cape Cod Lounge, UMass Amherst
Attendees: General public, students, supporters and media
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12
Cannabis Conversation: Rick Steves on legalization and the concerns of families
Event with Women Grow Boston and Moms for Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana
Time: 6 P.M.
Location: UMass Club, 1 Beacon Street, Boston MA
Attendees: General public, Members of Women Grow, Moms for Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana, and media
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13
Rick Steves and the ACLU: Why voters should support Question 4
Opening Remarks from Carol Rose, Executive Director for the ACLU
Time: 7 P.M. – 8:30 P.M.
Location: Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont Street, Boston – First Floor Function Room