Arch Enemy: 'Legalize Weed!'

Frontwoman Angela Gossow says marijuana cured her asthma, and the US government needs to stop wasting money on the war on drugs. Is she right or wrong?

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Arch Enemy frontwoman Angela Gossow sung the praises of cannabis in a recent interview, explaining why she thinks it must be legalised.

"That's what we do every evening; we listen to a bunch of records when we're stoned, which is very good for musicians," she told Rocksalt "You get really into the music and understand the greatness of it."

In their native Sweden, the substance is illegal - but Angela gives credit to younger Swedes who have pushed for new legislation.

Cannabis, better known as weed, is derived from a plant and is often used medicinally to relieve pain. In some instances, it is used recreationally to produce sensory effects and induce relaxation.

While Angela considers the recreational drug to be harmless, she warns that it is not suitable for everyone.

"It doesn't do any damage to people, except when you're prone to paranoia and schizophrenia then you've got to actually see a doctor," Angela said. "For most people it's very harmless, compared to hard liquor I'd rather see a 16 year-old smoke a spliff than having a bottle of vodka in their hands."

Interestingly, Angela believes using cannabis has cured her asthma: "I use a vaporizer because it doesn't irritate my throat at all and it helps my asthma a lot," she said. "Since I've been using weed, I haven't had to use any of my steroid inhalers. It really relaxes the airways, opens it up."

Angela thinks the US government should stop wasting money on a war on drugs and use the savings to help fund education and healthcare - "... all these things that have a massive shortage in the US," she says.

UG spoke to a cannabis user to discover more about the substance. Describing its effect on music, they said, "Imagine a song with some cow bell. Now imagine being stoned to that, and hearing, like, twice as much cow bell."

What do UG readers think? Is it a means to unlock your creativity, or should musicians take care not to damage their gifted minds?

225 comments sorted by best / new / date

    MiseryMonster
    bmarlatt1685 wrote: MiseryMonster wrote: chrisvasco23 wrote: honestly, who cares. i think medicinal she has a point, if it helps chronic pain or asthma i see no reason to ease the pain. but the whole stoned to get to listen to records is kinda dumb no way, smoking increases musical creativity ( for me anyways) i find it easier to write riffs when im stoned more then when im not. listening to music while stoned just makes it sound 100X better. I've never smoked once in my entire life, so I must really be inhibiting my creative capacity to make great music, right? My bass player used to smoke weed all the time before he rejoined my band and he'll be the first to tell you that he's experienced the exact opposite of what you claim. When trying to write music high, he'd just get distracted easily. Look, as a Libertarian I don't buy that the war on drugs will solve the drug problem or anything like that, and states can decriminalize pot it they want to. Fine... but I also don't buy that smoking weed increases a musician's creative abilities. It may do wonders for you while you're floating on a cloud somewhere over the rainbow or whatever, but for every person that claims what you believe I bet there's a counterpart that experiences the opposite.
    well, you cant just go off of one person.. shit effects people differently than others, so if one person has a certain effect with one thing while on it, another person might not have the same effect.
    shanethestoner wrote: i smoke weed err day. but in terms of playing music and understanding, it definitely gives you a different perspective to what your playing and hearing. does it make you play any better? in my experience, not really, but i think outside the box, play slightly more sloppy, but my phrasing and attentive to detail gets MUCH better, because for some reason, the THC inspires me to hit notes that i normally would not think of to hit. do i always smoke before playing? no. it is necessary for me? no. will i if its available? HELL YES
    This +1
    DeadlyKombat
    And of course, it's the weekend. This article will be on the front page till early monday morning. I wonder if UG plans it like that?
    highdarren
    Most of you have no idea what you are talking about... I am a member of CLEAR - Cannabis Law Reform an organisation trying to change the prohbition laws in the UK... let me explain a liuttle bit about cannabis and "creativity" To say that "weed makes you creative" or "weed doesnt make you creative" is stupid and ignorant. Weed is not a drug which gives you ONE effect, weed is made up of over a 100 different chemical compounds which work together at different levels to form that unique taste, smell, look, colour and everthing that makes a strain of weed unique (A strain is like OG KUSH or Pineapple express or Purple kush etc..) So, one weed might make you really creative and up-beat and full of enery (That is because of a high CBD content in the weed) where as another will make you lazy, unmotivated and just sit their "monging" out (due to high THC and low CBD) THC (tetrahydrocannabidol) is the main psycoactive chemical in weed, it is simple what makes you get really "head high" CBd (Cannabidol) is the opposite. It is an anti-psycoactive chemical which wrosk by more or less "diluting" the thc in the weed and when there is a lot of CBD, you get the "body high". This is what makes you creative, motivated and full of energy.. When you smoke a high CBD weed you will probably wanna go for a jog or play music etc...
    Oyface
    lrt75914 wrote: Beethoven didn't do any drugs and he was a musical genius. And I have seen people fall into a depression because of weed. Thinking that it is completely harmeless is bullshit. My dad is a surgeon and he told me over and over again that marihuana has a negative influence on your brain.
    Of course he did, he's your dad.
    highdarren
    TBF, chances are that beethoven did smoke weed! Back before propaganda hit the media, weed was used in just about ALL medicines and it was widley used by most people... back then it was known as "cannabis sativa" or something
    csensesfail92
    they couldn't make it legal for everyone too many people do stupid things when smoking it would have to be legalized on a person to person basis
    arnolddrummer
    Cannabis, better known as weed, is derived from a plant and is often used medicinally to relieve pain. In some instances, it is used recreationally to produce sensory effects and induce relaxation. You don't say? I don't think in a comment section full of musicians that you would find one person who doesn't know what pot does, weve all been to concerts!
    nothingnewtome
    War on drugs.... Legalize weed, stop spending my money on something harmless, while all the meanwhile people are overdosing on lethal drugs like heroin, crystal meth, and all these new synth drugs that are worse then these. Legalize weed, spend that money on better things, and make laws on hard drugs more strict. Annual deaths caused by Weed (0) alchohol (5000+) heroine 95 - 05 (83,000)etc.
    siraxlrose
    hereticfive wrote: leigh596 wrote: Im 15 and weed is just a weekly routine. Weed is one of the least addictive things out there, and it can inspire you to do many things. It just makes me happy. Weekly routine and least addictive? contradiction: A combination of statements, ideas, or features of a situation that are opposed to one another.
    Seriously I think think addiction can be defined as a substance that is habit forming, considering its a weekly event then it is addicting.
    Armagedn
    I just really, really, really don't like weed, and coming to college made me like it even less.
    conor-figgy
    leigh596 wrote: Im 15 and weed is just a weekly routine. Weed is one of the least addictive things out there, and it can inspire you to do many things. It just makes me happy.
    So, you say weed isn't addictive although you have it as a part of your weekly routine? Ah... Personally I think it should be legalised and regulated.
    CSMusic
    I wish that people who smoke weed would just come out with unmasked honesty for once and just say that the reason they want it legalized is so they can get high. Which is the only argument that makes sense. Annoys me to know end how people will fight so hard to get a stupid plant legalized, but never stand up for any legit issue in society. Oh and: "It should be legalized, regulated/taxed" people who make this argument are beyond stupid. This may come as great shock to you, but give it a bit to sink in; criminals don't like paying taxes . That's exactly why they sell illegal goods. They're expensive, untaxed and unregulated. Good business is what it's all about. If you legalize it, it's less expensive, now they have to pay taxes etc and they will fight that tooth and nail. At which point they will start selling the drugs that are still illegal and are far, far worse. The gang fights over Heroin and Cocaine are also way more deadly; just ask Mexico. Also, we don't want more people doing weed who decide that it's so great they should try harder drugs and then expect our damn tax money to fund their all-expenses paid vacations in rehab. Bottom line here is, if you want to get stoned, fine. Nobody cares, but stop trying to convince non-smokers that the shit is broccoli. Most of you seem to obtain and smoke it on a regular basis anyway, so what's the $#*&ing problem with it remaining illegal?
    DSG3002
    if someone hotboxed congress while obama was giving the state of the union, and everyone in there got high as ****, I think they would have cut the speech and voted to legalize weed
    HoverFan#1
    Angela thinks the US government should stop wasting money on a war on drugs and use the savings to help fund education and healthcare
    +infinity
    J0HNNYBR4V04756
    I'm fine with weed as being a medical thing, like if you get migraines every week, and weed fixes that, go ahead, but if you are one of those people who are like "LOLOLOL 420 SMOKE WEED ERY DAY" then i don't like it. I wouldn't vote for it to be legalized but more for a medical thing.
    Sethis
    I do agree with Angela. Marijuana tends to stimulate the brain and increase creativity. Plus it's harmless. But you don't really have to be stoned to write great music. I'm with you people when you come out and say that "You don't need marijuana to appreciate music." But when you add that anyone who smokes cannabis is a "loser and junkie" you lose any respect I may have had for you. Please do yourself a favor and die.
    unyinz
    "is often used medicinally to relieve pain. In some instances, it is used recreationally to produce sensory effects and induce relaxation." Fairly certain it's the other way around.
    mschup27
    Sylvanus wrote: herpderpton wrote: No shit. You SHOULDN'T HAVE to do them. But guess what? Life is rough for some people, and marijuana really does help. So I, like other people that enjoy not having to wallow through this bullshit called 'life,' will continue to make ourselves feel less miserable. Not trying to flame or anything, but come on man. If you've tried marijuana, you should know full well that there's a big difference between that (a goddamn plant) and crystal meth. Honestly, that's an extremely pessimistic view. Sure life can be tough for everyone, but does this plant really solve your problems? Quite a few guys I know have let weed swallow their lives(need I mention the paranoid schizo's?), they spend all their money on it and are always broke, even to the point where they can't pay their other bills and they lose their drive to do anything except get high. Others can control it better but there ARE negative effects to the drug. It does damage brain cells and although it isn't addictive physically, people who do it often feel like it's a necessary part of their lifestyle, much in the same way as people that drink coffee.
    Im a very big pot advocate. I wasn't even gonna try and join in on this massive back and forth from people that obviously have never researched the issue, im talking about both sides of the argument here, but once I saw the comment about pot damaging brain cells i had to step in. IT DOES NOT DAMAGE BRAIN CELLS. In fact in most scientific studies it has actually been proven to STIMULATE brain cell activity. PLEASE LOOK SHIT UP BEFORE YOU POST OR OPEN YOUR MOUTH. I could go on for days but Ill just leave it at this.
    garden of grey
    Sylvanus wrote: herpderpton wrote: No shit. You SHOULDN'T HAVE to do them. But guess what? Life is rough for some people, and marijuana really does help. So I, like other people that enjoy not having to wallow through this bullshit called 'life,' will continue to make ourselves feel less miserable. Not trying to flame or anything, but come on man. If you've tried marijuana, you should know full well that there's a big difference between that (a goddamn plant) and crystal meth. Honestly, that's an extremely pessimistic view. Sure life can be tough for everyone, but does this plant really solve your problems? Quite a few guys I know have let weed swallow their lives(need I mention the paranoid schizo's?), they spend all their money on it and are always broke, even to the point where they can't pay their other bills and they lose their drive to do anything except get high. Others can control it better but there ARE negative effects to the drug. It does damage brain cells and although it isn't addictive physically, people who do it often feel like it's a necessary part of their lifestyle, much in the same way as people that drink coffee.
    Weed is not totally harmless, but locking up 1 percent of our population for non violent drug offenses is plain tyranny.
    garden of grey
    CSMusic Bottom line here is, if you want to get stoned, fine. Nobody cares, but stop trying to convince non-smokers that the shit is broccoli. Most of you seem to obtain and smoke it on a regular basis anyway, so what's the $#*&ing problem with it remaining illegal?
    The federal government spent $40 billion on the war on drugs last year, which we pay for while profits leak to gangsters. It kind of sounds like prohibition because it is prohibition all over again... you have to be a total narcissist and also lack empathy to think that imprisoning people for health choices makes any sense and is acceptable.
    garden of grey
    LPGNRKC Oh, and not everyone who doesn't support legalisation hasn't tried it, which seems to be the belief of several potheads on this. That's a nothing argument, because, believe it or not, some people actually have different views to you
    Nobody should deny that there are fascists out there who like to suck authoritarian dick.
    RideTheRoses
    Anyone who is against weed has never smoked some... I dare you to come to Holland(where I live) and smoke a big fat haze blunt.
    Beakwithteeth
    Getting stoned and listening to records. Does it make you a better musician? Who knows. Is it a damn good time? Yes, yes it is.
    fenderstrattele
    I'm from the Netherlands and I really don't think we are better of than any country where it's illegal.(this is coming form a person that doesn't smoke, and I really don't feel the need to use weed or any other drug) I don't care if other people wanna smoke, all I know is I don't need it. and as much as I like Arch Enemy, if you really need to be stoned to understand the greatness of music that's really kinda sad... and btw I have been in bands where there were other members that did drugs and it was usually them that couldn't keep it together, and that lead up to the demise of the band
    StarSaber666
    I love music any time don't get me wrong but when I get stoned as **** it is sooooo good to listen to all my old vynl. All the stuff that people were chatting on about how you dont need a spliff to enjoy the beauty of music is completely legitiment but come on dont take it to far get a bong, bu an 1/8, smoke it all, chill the **** out, listen to some music and shut the **** up.
    loaded_
    EVERYTHING is addictive. Especially if it makes you feel good. Just sayin'. I'm not pro or anti when it comes to weed but both parties come up with some stupid arguments.
    ~DrEaM ThEaTeR~
    If you can't understand music or be affected by it unless you're blunted, you're not a musician any more than someone who can't perform in a sport forum is an athlete without steroids. Second, if the US really wanted a 'war on drugs,' they'd be helping Mexico deal with the cartel and trafficking issues that are severely hurting their people and taking a massive, negative toll on the land and culture. But the US doesn't, because there's no gain there like there was with oil in more recent years. Third, with all the horrible, unjust things that are happening around the globe, people choosing to wage a ideological war of words and 'principle' based on something as big-picture insignificant as whether weed is legal or not shows little more than how spoiled they are.
    You obviously have no idea how world politics work or why cartels even exist in the first place. Your "ideological war" costs our country around $70 billion a year (and that's only the US). It also puts the money right into criminal organizations who, instead of duking it out in court, take it out violently on each other as well as whoever gets in the crossfire (AKA 40,000+ people killed since 2006). Come back when you learn a lil more.
    vandal_12
    replica_ wrote: Fuck this. A lot of people don't actually know that Black Sabbath were not exactly "down with the happy hippie trippy California flower power drug culture". They didn't fit into that scene. If you actually watched any documentaries on how their heavy metal sound came to be, then you would realise that while most of the stuff written in the 60s and 70s was like a perpetual drug trip, Sabbath's music was like coming OUT of a sweet dreamy drug trip and back to cold, tough reality, and feeling the FUCKING HANGOVER! It was fueled by dispair, anger, frustration, and a monochrome, monotonous existence of being an underpaid steel factory worker on a Monday morning in Sheffield or Birmingham. People like me, in this age of indifference, when were being ****ed over by banks, the government, and the recession and cut backs, no jobs, no money, **** all. Thats the music 'I' can relate to. Not "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" or "Purple Haze". Okay, Sabbath had a trippy song called Planet Caravan, which I like, not saying that the music is crap...i just can't relate to it, because theres noting to relate to. But Black Sabbath were the Masters Of Reality, not a drug trip. Imagination is the key. Use drugs and your message is not clear it becomes nonsensical, and then really where's the point in that? Purple Haze, Lucy in the sky with diamonds...what do they say? Sure they may sound great...but wheres the message? When you were on cloud 9 petting flying dolphins and swimming in blue smoke did it seem clear? It's ok to use drugs to write music to unlock your imagination...but you need to HAVE imagination. And this is coming from a guy who's favourite writer is Philip K. Dick. A writer quite well known for his drug fueled novels.
    They did write a song called Sweet Leaf, you must have forgotten about it. I hear the cough at the beginning is a loop of Iommi puffing on a joint. Regardless, I hate hippies too, and I love smoking weed.
    bmarlatt1685
    MiseryMonster wrote: chrisvasco23 wrote: honestly, who cares. i think medicinal she has a point, if it helps chronic pain or asthma i see no reason to ease the pain. but the whole stoned to get to listen to records is kinda dumb no way, smoking increases musical creativity ( for me anyways) i find it easier to write riffs when im stoned more then when im not. listening to music while stoned just makes it sound 100X better.
    I've never smoked once in my entire life, so I must really be inhibiting my creative capacity to make great music, right? My bass player used to smoke weed all the time before he rejoined my band and he'll be the first to tell you that he's experienced the exact opposite of what you claim. When trying to write music high, he'd just get distracted easily. Look, as a Libertarian I don't buy that the war on drugs will solve the drug problem or anything like that, and states can decriminalize pot it they want to. Fine... but I also don't buy that smoking weed increases a musician's creative abilities. It may do wonders for you while you're floating on a cloud somewhere over the rainbow or whatever, but for every person that claims what you believe I bet there's a counterpart that experiences the opposite.
    HARTATTACK69
    HARTATTACK69 wrote: Tanner Streeter wrote: If the war on drugs were to end think of how empty the prisons were to be. Admit it most prisons are full of people arrested for possession of marijuana. After they stop arresting people for it, there will be a mass shortage of people getting arrested. This could be a good thing and a bad thing. Good because... well hey who wants to see their dealer go to prison, and bad because it will hurt the prison system now that it has less prisoners.
    actually only 19% of prisoners in jail are drug related prisoners in general, only a small percentage of that is for Marijuana related offenses
    LPGNRKC
    I'm not particularly for or against legalisation, I think it's got its pros and cons either way, but what bugs me is these people who try to convince themselves that its actually good for you. Yes, it may be beneficial in a few situations, but the vast majority of the time it isn't. It certainly isn't as bad as lots of other drugs, but that hardly makes it good. A couple of annoying arguments: "People have been doing it for ages, therefore it must be good." So? People used to be stupid. Hell, wasn't strapping live chickens to plague victims a cure in the middle ages? "You can appreciate music better." Rubbish, weed shortens your attention span; there's no way you can appreciate music on the same level as when you're sober. Sure, it might 'feel' better in your drug-induced state, but to generally appreciate the time and skill that went into great songs you need your wits about you. "I write better music when I'm high." Come on. Being just makes you more willing to experiment outside your normal musical comfort zone. Nothing a bit of self-confidence wouldn't do. That's about all. Sorry about the rant everyone. Oh, and not everyone who doesn't support legalisation hasn't tried it, which seems to be the belief of several potheads on this. That's a nothing argument, because, believe it or not, some people actually have different views to you
    Tyler.Allain
    You know how many Pot abusing losers there are on here by how many -'s any comment apposing the legalization of pot gets. I share the opinion that if you think you need to get high to appreciate music you're a jackass. Music is about music not about drugs or sex you goons. Go ahead - away you hippies.
    Macabre_Turtle
    I support marijuana legalization, but her reasons are stupid, and in some cases just plain incorrect.
    Tyler.Allain
    Also, I am FOR the legalization of weed. I am AGAINST the notion that you need to be a drug abuser-loser to improve your appreciation of music or performance as a musician.
    HARTATTACK69
    If you NEED drugs to appreciate the music and understand it you shouldn't be listening to music. You should be in a rehab clinic
    Underjoggle
    Everyone who's saying you don't need pot to help appreciate music has never smoked a joint in their life. It's true that you don't NEED it. I'm sober most of the time, and I love the music I love. BUT, listening to music when you're stoned is ****ing bananas. It's like being in the studio with the band. You can visualize the music better. Little riffs, or percussion you didn't know was there starts popping out so clearly. It's wild.
    HARTATTACK69
    Tanner Streeter wrote: If the war on drugs were to end think of how empty the prisons were to be. Admit it most prisons are full of people arrested for possession of marijuana. After they stop arresting people for it, there will be a mass shortage of people getting arrested. This could be a good thing and a bad thing. Good because... well hey who wants to see their dealer go to prison, and bad because it will hurt the prison system now that it has less prisoners.
    actually only 19% of prisons are filled with Drug related prisoners in general, only a small percentage of that is for Marijuana related offenses.
    Air_Stryker
    I don't smoke weed myself, but I have plenty of friends that do and I've failed to see the harm in it myself. As far as I can tell the benefits more than outweigh the drawbacks. I don't see why it hasn't been legalized yet, it's hardly as damaging as say; cigarettes =P As for the "it helps you enjoy music more" or whatever; I have no first hand experience, so I can't say yes or no to that, but I may have to give it a go just to see how much more awesome Machine Head can get when you're stoned. =D
    Ubergrue
    strat0blaster wrote: "Thats what we do every evening; we listen to a bunch of records when were stoned, which is very good for musicians," she told Rocksalt "You get really into the music and understand the greatness of it." If you can't understand music or be affected by it unless you're blunted, you're not a musician any more than someone who can't perform in a sport forum is an athlete without steroids. Second, if the US really wanted a 'war on drugs,' they'd be helping Mexico deal with the cartel and trafficking issues that are severely hurting their people and taking a massive, negative toll on the land and culture. But the US doesn't, because there's no gain there like there was with oil in more recent years. Third, with all the horrible, unjust things that are happening around the globe, people choosing to wage a ideological war of words and 'principle' based on something as big-picture insignificant as whether weed is legal or not shows little more than how spoiled they are. If you're a musician, stick to making great music.
    Why did all these people thumb you down? You made great points!
    archangelseren
    just do what you want. music is just different when you listen to it high or play music high but its easier to lose what your playing i find... they will never legalize it in the u.s. (that would be the day) alcohol makes too much damn money to get rid of that and putting pot dealers in jail makes money too so they don't care. "1971 Nixon Shock"
    thetoasteroven
    If pot is responsible for Rise of the Tyrant then it needs to be charged with murder.Secondly it is not that great yeah it makes some stuff funnier .But as far as making music better shrooms are best at that.
    Brendan.Pivin
    Title didnt make me feel like reading the article. Alot of people say legalize weed why would it be news if arche enemy said it
    Ian hawkins
    I'd love to see weed legalised, it would just make sense.Judging by the availability and social acceptance of weed,the war on drugs really hasn't worked at all.All it has done is given international crime rings a HUGE market for them to do business in whatever way they please.
    stealstrings
    Well I don't know much about weed, but I wouldn't smoke it. I'm not gonna judge people who do either.