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Gene Simmons Discusses His Change of Heart on Weed: ‘Do Your Goddamn Research’

We caught up with KISS star Gene Simmons to talk about his changed views on cannabis.

Gene Simmons Discusses His Change of Heart on Weed: ‘Do Your Goddamn Research’
Alberto Cabello/ Wikimedia Commons

KISS legend Gene Simmons is a well-known anti-drugs guy, and an overall controversial character, who has spoken out against weed in the past. So, on a recent visit to Invictus MD, a publicly-traded Canadian cannabis producer and retailer, we were surprised to have a celebrity cameo from The Demon himself. Simmons professed that his views on cannabis have changed as of late, especially after joining Invictus as its Chief Evangelist Officer.

“I was one of those people who said cannabis is the same thing as heroin,” Simmons told High Times. “But it’s not! We’re told by researchers every single day that there is not only medical value in cannabis, but even miraculous results from cannabis-based products.”

Simmons explained he had gotten into the cannabis industry for financial reasons at first. However, his involvement rapidly led him to realize cannabis can help people suffering from very diverse ailments. “I’ve even seen very young girls and boys suffering from epilepsy being prescribed cannabis-based products and experiencing almost miraculous recoveries,” he said, adding that these sorts of things were the ones that had convinced him there was more to weed than just making money off stoners.

Consequently, Simmons has become a vocal proponent of marijuana legalization and an advocate for the need of education around the topic over the last few months.

“I, myself, was arrogant about the whole thing; I’m a straight guy who’s never smoked and never been drunk – although I think it’s OK for people to do so. So, for me cannabis was initially a financial play. But now I’m really proud of being associated with something I discovered has great medical potential,” he said during a recent interview with Entrepreneur Media.

“People are allowed to smoke cigarettes and governments are constantly lowering the age at which people can smoke; they will allow you to play Russian roulette with your goddamn health and possibly die miserably, horribly, painfully, but they won’t let people use cannabis.

“Even recreationally, I don’t see the harm for cannabis,” he added, revealing that KISS will be headlining a cannabis-themed music festival soon. “I’m OK with people smoking there. Nobody is going to get violent and pick a fight on cannabis,” Simmons said.

‘When Planets Align’

We had one more question for Simmons: How was the transition from being anti-pot to being pro pot?

“Life is what happens to you when the planets align,” Simmons answered contemplatively. “Doesn’t matter what your plans are.

“I never planned on getting into the cannabis world,” he added, unsurprisingly. However, fate would have it for Gene to meet numerous cannabis business execs in one day, after an associate of his suggested he consider cannabis as a financial opportunity.

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Since that day, Gene has come to realize his relationship with cannabis was meant to be.

“Indians knew about it for a long time. Indigenous tribes around the world have been using it too. Whatever helps them survive or makes life more bearable is fine with many people,” he said. “And, you know, this society that we live in is judgmental… So, the only thing I’m urging everybody to do is, do your goddamn research. That’s all. Let research determine what should or shouldn’t be used.”

Javier Hasse
Written By

Javier Hasse is a cannabis, hemp, CBD and psychedelics-focused reporter, currently serving as Managing Director for Benzinga Cannabis. His book, “Start Your Own Cannabis Business,” was published by Entrepreneur Media in 2018 and hit the #1 Best-Seller spot on Amazon. As an award-winning reporter and editor, Javier has had roughly 5,000 unique articles published across numerous mass media outlets including CNN, Forbes, MSN, Chicago Tribune, CNBC, Yahoo Finance, Entrepreneur Magazine, MarketWatch, Houston Chronicle, The Street, Nasdaq, Morningstar, Playboy, Benzinga, MERRY JANE, High Times, and many others. Javier also co-founded Spanish language news site El Planteo, where he now serves as CEO. Beyond cannabis, he is a published photographer and Billboard-charting rapper, featured on hip-hop albums that also included Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and Inspectah Deck, Twista, Lil Windex, Riff Raff, Cyhi The Prynce, Yung Bleu, DJ Whoo Kid, Jonathan Hay, and others.

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