Ben Harper’s philosophy on Smoking Pot.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Sep 18, 2011
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“Who says stoners, marijuana politics, basic human decency and art are different, separated institutions?”

Listen to the lyrics: Burn one down:

The crowd, certainly, is on board.

Let us burn one
from end to end
and pass it over
to me my friend
burn it long, we’ll burn it slow
to light me up before I go

if you don’t like my fire
then don’t come around
cause I’m gonna burn one down
yes I’m gonna burn one down

my choice is what I choose to do
and if I’m causing no harm
it shouldn’t bother you
your choice is who you choose to be
and if you’re causin’ no harm
then you’re alright with me

if you don’t like my fire
then don’t come around
cause I’m gonna burn one down
yes I’m gonna burn one down

herb the gift from the earth
and what’s from the earth
is of the greatest worth
so before you knock it try it first
you’ll see it’s a blessing
and it’s not a curse

if you don’t like my fire
then don’t come around
cause I’m gonna burn one down
yes I’m gonna burn one down

Another copy.

Whatever you think of marijuana morally or health-wise (Buddhists say it clouds the enlightened mind, for example)…putting folks in prison over it is ridiculous. Compared with the danger to self and other that cigarettes or alcohol (or driving a car, or using toxic household cleaning agents) offer, it’s harmless.

The only harm that comes out of it is related to its status as a black market, illegal good. Make it legal, tax it, imagine what you could do with those taxes. Control it, make it safer, keep it out of schools, kill gangs’ business…too bad legalizing pot is, for now, still a political death-wish.


Dazed & Confused:

Bonus, 420 Day, via my man Duzer:

For more:

Pastor says Pot at Walgreen’s – NOW!

10 Reasons to Tax, Regulate & Control Marijuana.

Dude, Where’s my Guru? 2700-year-old Marijuana used for “Spiritual Purposes?”



About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


13 Responses to “Ben Harper’s philosophy on Smoking Pot.”

  1. ARCreated says:

    total awesomeness 🙂

  2. athayoganusasanam says:

    what does this have to do with yoga? i know elephant journal embraces all sorts of stuff, but this post is on "elephant yoga"….and in the traditions i study, smoking pot is not a part of the yoga practice.

  3. Sue says:

    Living with a pot smoker is like living with a drunk except the pot smoker thinks they are on higher moral ground cos it’s a herb. It’s the same boring tediousness. I CHOOSE not to live with either.

  4. Bret says:

    This post in particular doesn't have alot to do with yoga, however, I would argue that smoking pot is indeed part of the yoga practice. Thousands of sadhu's smoke charas and or cannabis in devotion to shiva.

  5. boulderwind says:

    Pot smoking kills motivation and disrupts neurochemicals. I do support MMJ in principle though I think there is too much leniency with it. Doctors at town festivals in booths handing out MMJ cards for hangnails? I don't think that is what it was intended for. I do think we should decriminalize it but I also personally hate being around habitual pot smokers. Addled addicts one and all.

  6. […] for it getting further fully legalized. It gets smoked either way, it’s not bad for anyone (just ask Ben Harper), it doesn’t cause the aggression that drinking does…and this way we get to tax it and […]

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  8. Keri says:

    This is one of my favorite Ben Harper songs, but I like it only as art-not an idea. It’s rude. It’s selfish. I’ve spent the last 8 months frustrated at not being able to hear live music because I don’t want to expose my unborn baby to contact high that just about every Colorado concert produces. I have no problem with people smoking weed at home or camping. But this logic infers that pot smokers have a problem with me going to a concert. It’s incredibly selfish and not at all self-aware.

  9. AndrewPaciocco says:

    I don't think it does Keri. I think he's intending the reference of "don't come around" in a more general manner. An 'if you don't like what I do then you don't have to associate with me' type of intent.

    He say's "and if I’m causing no harm it shouldn’t bother you" and I don't think he's being selfish enough and lacking the self awareness that in public people may not enjoy his smoke or that it can be harmful, especially to children. I just don't think he's saying "I'm going to smoke when and where I smoke and if you don't like it leave" given the context of what I know about him as a person/artist.

    I could be dead wrong, but that's the interpenetration I get.

  10. Melissa Romain says:

    To say pot is harmless is irresponsible…it has harmed many…it is a gateway drug and trains people to believe they do not have what it takes to deal with life and its challenges. It also robs the user of getting high on life… true joy and happiness… not some manufactured high. Yoga on the other hand gives you the opportunity to seek out your darkness, make friends with it, and strengthen the true joy that resides at the center of our being.

  11. Emma says:

    Not to be disrespectful but your use of the term “manufactured” baffles me. Manufactured by nature, yes. As previously mentioned, many yogis, gurus and shamans have used marijuana for ritual, enlightenment and healing for thousands of years. It is not a synthetic or “manufactured” high and as far as my experience and that of many others I know goes, the only “gateway” it opens is that which leads to one’s own subconscious. Which granted, can be a terrifying place.

  12. Penny says:

    I love the music of Ben Harper and obviously "burning one down" has not harmed him. However There is a total overload of pro marihuana propaganda around. Of course it can so easily be abused. I presently have a loved one in a psych ward after suffering a dope induced violent psychosis. Still in there after a month. What is more, 90% of the residents there have damaged their brains through dope.So please, do not present pot as a harmless substance. For many people it is anything but.