Richard Cohen Would Like Justin Bieber To Know That Reefer Madness Is Real, Man

Richard Cohen Would Like Justin Bieber To Know That Reefer Madness Is Real, Man

There’s been a lot of Justin Bieber news: the drag-racing arrest, the police raid that found drugs, the arrest for assaulting a limo driver, and his private plane pilots wearing masks because of all the dank fumage. Through all this, WaPo’s Richard Cohen has not shared his feelings. Finally, today he has. O Glorious Day.


While the rest of the world is saying “wait, why do I care what some aging lover of sexual harassment who only just learned that slavery was bad thinks about this era’s Bobby Vinton?” Richard Cohen has been standing in front of a mirror, stroking his beard and his penis simultaneously, whispering “they want you, baby. They want to hear from you. Everybody does. Tell it like it is, Richard Cohen. Speak truth to power about Justin Bieber.” OK, we weren’t really there watching that, because ewww, but honestly, it is the only explanation for this column.

On the off chance that he is not already a subscriber, I urge Justin Beiber to take a look at the current issue of the New York Review of Books. There, in addition to an article about his fellow musician, Johann Sebastian Bach, is one about marijuana. It was written by the eminent Jerome Groopman of the Harvard Medical School who says, basically, that marijuana is not a benign drug. Smoke it at your own risk.

What bazillionaire 20-year-old whose fame rests upon having really insanely good teenage hair wouldn’t respond to the clarion call of the New York Review of Books? Combine that with a Bach namecheck and some weed-shaming and the Biebs has probably already read the Review cover to cover three times yet today. Then Richard Cohen pivots — brilliantly, of course, because that is the way of Richard Cohen — to a series of haranguing statistics about weed that basically boils down to this: if you use a fuck ton of weed every day until you can’t do anything else, or you get super fucking high and drive your car, these things are bad, mmmmkay? These are really not things that are in doubt, Richard Cohen, but they are also things utterly unrelated to casual weed use or medicinal weed use or Justin Bieber weed use. Perhaps Cohen would have made a bit more sense if he could have been arsed to go back and look at other things he wrote on the topic, but haha he is too lazy for that AND TELLS US SO.

I know without checking that I have written columns over the years demanding the legalization of marijuana. I certainly confessed to having “experimented” with the stuff but found it not to my liking. Still, I was of the generation for which it was a rite of passage, apiece with sexual freedom and, much more importantly, civil rights and the anti-war movement. Old fogies warned about pot, J. Edgar Hoover hated it and Richard Nixon made war against — three good reasons right there to have a toke.

Ahh, got it. Youthful experimentation was cool for boomers because of the FBI and Vietnam and since Justin Bieber is from Canadaland what the fuck does he even know about war and spying, huh??? Haven’t you missed the airtight reasoning of Richard Cohen? Also, too, shut the fuck up on this topic generally, boomers. Your drug era wasn’t golden-hued and special and harmless, and you’ve got a nice line of dead-too-young rock stars to prove it.


Let’s go in for Richard Cohen’s big finish, shall we? You just know it’s going to be something that is exactly the utter and complete opposite of good.

So I say to Mr. Beiber, when a Nobel laureate [Erik Kandel] says stay off the weed, give it some heed. When Groopman and Rosenthal weigh in, pay attention. […]

Justin, m’boy, you’ve got a habit or maybe just a strong indulgence, but whatever it is, the consequences are plain. Not to put too fine a point on it, you’ve been acting like a jerk. Maybe you ought to lay off the weed. Look at it this way: If it’s legal and everyone’s doing it, then it’s no longer cool. And neither are you.

Yes, perennial arbiter of what is cool for kids, Richard Cohen, would like you to know that weed is just so yesterday, Justin Bieber. Although under this Cohen logic, the only way Bieber can step up his cool game again after this shattering setback would be to pick up a habit that has no hope of being legalized or mainstreamed. We breathlessly await Richard Cohen’s next column, in which he advises Justin Bieber to start freebasing cocaine, because that’s how the real stars of yesteryear rolled, because it remains startlingly dangerous, and because it will never be legal. That’s how you stay hip and relevant. Take it from Richard Cohen.


You may also like...