The Baltimore Sun’s tweet: “Ben Jealous has friends in high places: Candidate says he smoked pot with Dave Chappelle.”
Not only does Jealous have friends in high places, he just won Maryland's democratic primary for governor.
In a new interview with MSNBC’s hip-hop expert Ari Melber, Chappelle and Jealous talked about their long friendship and discussed the campaign. Jealous noted that Chappelle played a key role in influencing Jealous’ attitude about cannabis reform.
“I didn’t start out on this journey over a year ago planning on [marijuana legalization] being a big issue in my campaign, but Dave has made the argument to me for almost a quarter century,” Jealous told Melber.
Ben Jealous is the former president and chief executive officer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
While on the campaign trail last week, Jealous told a group of supporters that Chappelle was the first person to ever present him with a cohesive argument for recreational legalization.
"I'm standing here with the first person who made the argument to me that cannabis should be legal for adult use," said Jealous, with Chappelle by his side.
The Baltimore Sun noted that Jealous was the first ever Maryland gubernatorial candidate to admit to smoking weed with a celebrity, although the other five candidates for governor support legalization of recreational cannabis.
Both Jealous and Chappelle have used the upcoming Maryland election as a vehicle to discuss the effects that pot prohibition has had in low-income neighborhoods around the country.
“I look at the legalization of marijuana as an inevitability nationally, not just in the state of Maryland,” Chappelle told Melber.
“If you look at Ben’s resume, his entire professional resume has been focused on equity. He’s trying to right the playing field and I’ve watched him work tirelessly to that end. There’s nothing in this for me, I just think this guy can make a difference for Maryland,” said Chappelle.
Doubtless, Chappelle is right. Jealous, who campaigned as a progressive, pro-legalization candidate for governor, told Marijuana Moment last week that if elected governor, he would use tax revenue from a legal cannabis retail system to fund universal pre-k education throughout Maryland.