Fourteen years after the release of the hit song "Because I Got High," Afroman is still toking. But these days he's not rapping about skipping class, losing his job, or getting chased by cops. Instead, he's fighting for legalization.
The singer teamed up with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and Weedmaps, a dispensary locator app, to put out a new version of the classic tune. The remix was released yesterday and already has some 500,000 views on Youtube.
"This is a well-known anthem that is very famous across generations. It's something we've all kind of grown up with. It just seemed like a really good opportunity to challenge the old stereotype," a NORML representative tells Vice.
Afroman sings about medical benefits of cannabis, and forsaking recreational habits like cigarettes, alcohol, and pharmaceutical drugs in favor of marijuana.
And, for what it's worth:
The state made revenue, because I got high
They built a school or two, because I got high
Now the state can fund drug treatment, and I know why …
No more criminal traps if it's legalized
I don't have to buy from gangbangers shooting craps, If it's legalized
Cut him some slack, since it's just a fun song, but Afroman's lyrics are a bit pipedreamy. As Reason's Jacob Sullum has covered extensively, the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington hasn't been flawless. Both states' laws can trap medical patients and recreational users, preventing them from ever driving a car legally. And, regulatory costs have made the cost legal weed in both states substantially higher than black market bud, so there isn't as much revenue for schools as one might hope.
The song's release was coordinated with NORML's "Smoke the Vote" campaign, which is pushing for pro-marijuana legislation in Alaska, Oregon, Washington, D.C., and Florida.