Joe Rogan on Bigfoot, Legalizing Marijuana, and Other Mind-Blowing Insanities
We'll probably never find Bigfoot, but if we do, I think we should send Joe Rogan to make initial contact. Worst-case scenario, the Jiu Jitsu black belt can try and defeat the Squatch, maybe breaking an arm before getting ripped to pieces by the giant ape. Best-case scenario, the two will get real high together and talk about space on the first ever interspecies podcast.
Like Bigfoot, Joe Rogan is hard to identify. Is he a comic, a fighter, a TV host? He's all of those and more. Rogan's been doing standup since the 80s, practicing martial arts since he was 13, and making one of the most popular podcasts on the planet for the last four years. He has hosted NBC's Fear Factor, he's the commentator for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and he just wrapped up a season of his new SyFy show, Joe Rogan Questions Everything.
Consequently, Rogan has cultivated a loyal ragtag army of fans. They range from the realms of comedy, MMA, and psychedelic drugs, but they all have one thing in common: they love to hear the man speak. And, these days, it's easier than ever to do that. Whether through a podcast, on stage, or over two men pounding the shit out of each other, you've probably heard him speak, too.
If you haven't, you'll have your chance when he comes to the South Beach Comedy Festival on April 3rd to perform stand-up. Until then, you can read our interview with him, where we talked about some of Joe's favorite things: marijuana, MMA, and Bigfoot.
Cultist: You used to live in Gainesville, right?
Joe Rogan: Yeah, I lived in Gainesville when I was a little kid.
So you're somewhat familiar with the craziness of our state.
Oh, I go to Florida all the time, man. I know very well how crazy Florida is. It's a very unique spot. You really should have to have a passport to get there.
What do you think it is about Florida that makes it such a magnet for insanity?
I think there's a bunch of factors. I think first of all, the massive amount of people from different cultures is part of it. The beautiful intense weather -- that's a part of it, too. It feels like you're in another country. I think cocaine probably has something to do with it.
Medical marijuana is looking like it might pass in Florida. The most recent poll shows 74 percent of Floridians support it. Do you think Florida would benefit from medical marijuana?
I think the world would benefit from medical marijuana. It has been illegal for so long almost entirely because of a propaganda campaign that was designed to make hemp illegal. It wasn't even about the actual THC. It was nothing about that. It was really about making sure that hemp was much more difficult to cultivate.
A lot of people look to you as a source of information, especially about weed. Are you conscious of that, and do you feel a responsibility to educate people about marijuana?
I'm aware that people look at me as a source of information, but I feel a responsibility just as a human being -- whenever I find out about something that I feel is important -- to tell other people, especially if I find it fascinating. I mean, if it's important but also really boring, that's one thing. But this is fascinating stuff. There's a bunch of fascinating aspects of marijuana, not just the fact that prohibition is fundamentally flawed.
It never works. It never worked in the past; it'll never work in the future. It's just one of those things that people have tried and always fail with. Human beings find a way to get those things, and all you do is empower the people that are willing to provide it for them illegally. So you provide organized crime with a massive amount of revenue. That's why we have the problem that we have right now in Mexico. Without drugs being illegal the cartels would have never built up to the size they are. What you would have instead is the same sort of situation you have in America where pharmaceutical companies have massive amounts of power, but they're not running gigantic militarized gangs that are murdering people and intimidating entire towns and killing sheriffs, and all this stuff we're finding out with the Mexican drug war.
What you're doing is, you're giving people that are willing to do illegal things and risk imprisonment -- you're giving them the opportunity to make money. And those are the worst types of people you want to have a billion dollars, you know? And that's what we're seeing in Mexico. It's essentially the exact same thing that happened in the United States during the alcohol prohibition, but it's even more intense and even larger. So I always feel compelled when something like that is so obviously wrong and stupid and foolhardy and has its roots in failed policies of the past -- I always feel compelled to talk about stuff like that.