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?

Arch Enemy: 'Legalize Weed!'
13
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?

226 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    Vitor_vdp
    "Imagine a song with some cow bell. Now imagine being stoned to that, and hearing, like, twice as much cow bell." That made my day.
    CSguitarvocal
    "I use a vaporizer because it doesnt irritate my throat at all and it helps my asthma a lot," she said. "Since Ive been using weed, I havent had to use any of my steroid inhalers. It really relaxes the airways, opens it up.
    I gotta agree with her there. I had hardcore asthma as well when I start using weed, and I'm the same story. My inhaler just collects dust now.
    Salvo416
    I agree.. let people do what they want. This whole war on drugs is stupid.
    thePTOD
    I don't smoke weed. I don't like when people say you need to be high to enjoy and write good music. If Arch Enemy does that, I don't care. I just don't do drugs and I will keep it that way.
    Municipal Waste
    strat0blaster wrote: 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.
    Okay, so Jimmy Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and countless other musicians and bands aren't "real" because they abused some substances to get them thinking out of the box? Pardon me, but you sir are an idiot.
    Tonganation
    "In some instances, it is used recreationally to produce sensory effects and induce relaxation." Right... Some instances...
    Eirien
    There is no reason for weed to still be illegal. Angela is talking absolute sense, the war on drugs does much more harm than good. If it was legal it could be regulated, making it harder for children to get hold of and stopping it funding some pretty bad shit like terrorism. It would also increase tourism and it could be taxed, making a massive boom for the economy. But oh no, the government would much rather pocket the massive sums of cash that the pharmaceutical companies throw their way to keep it illegal. Most politicians are too loaded to care about the good of their country, and the ones that do care soon change when they get into power. I don't give a shit though, I'll smoke or vape weed every day whether it becomes legal or not.
    Iommianity
    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.
    This implies that it's the weed or steroids doing the actual work. I've never met anyone who couldn't appreciate music without being high (even if they said as much), but if they wrote something objectively amazing, what grounds do I have to claim the high road? "Oh, you're not a real musician". That's fine, but they still used their ears to write something that engaged you. Not the same thing as cheating in sports at all.
    zomgguitarz1234
    L.T Kickass wrote:
    This video pretty much explains my feelings on pot.
    I bet everyone who watched that just saw the title, and thumbed you down without even watching it.
    ne14t
    L.T Kickass wrote:
    This video pretty much explains my feelings on pot.
    Watch the video you idiots, and if you cant understand the joke then well you are either too high or not high enough! There is a reason I pay out my ass to live in Vancouver, and its not because of the ocean or hot chicks
    Lacebad
    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.
    unless you can comprehend the level of enhancement and unlocking of subtle nuances that cannabis can bring to listening to a record, something that is already conceived of as an amazing experience, as well as the unfettered creativity, honesty and spontaneity it can bring about in playing you are blind and deaf to some of the greatest joys one can have in this life. The very fact that you chose to use "steroids" a "performance ENHANCING drug" as a comparison speaks volumes. In the words of Bill Hicks "If you don't believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor. Go home tonight. Take all your albums, all your tapes and all your CDs and burn them. 'Cause you know what, the musicians that made all that great music that's enhanced your lives throughout the years? Rrreal ****ing high on drugs. The Beatles were so high they let Ringo sing a few tunes" you have
    Shinozoku
    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
    You've obviously never listened to Pink Floyd while high.
    guitar7masta
    strat0blaster wrote: 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 realize people are capable of focusing on more than one thing, right? only an idiot would generalize an entire movement by saying that is the only thing we care about or believe in. SMH
    guitarlad89
    bullshit, as zappa says "taking drugs gives you the license to be an *****". You can comprehend how great something is without chemical stimulation....it's called thinking.
    Iommianity
    If it wasn't for overzealous pothead teenagers and Captain Buzzkills, we wouldn't be having an argument about the 'right' way to enjoy or write music. If someone's drug use is in no way, shape, or form an issue for you, shut up. No one wants to hear your theories about the different levels of perception that contradict the reasons people have been doing mind altering drugs for centuries. And likewise, the average person thinks you're a douche for telling them they haven't appreciated their favourite album as well as you for not being high.
    SkepsisMetal
    strat0blaster wrote: Municipal Waste wrote: strat0blaster wrote: 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. Okay, so Jimmy Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and countless other musicians and bands aren't "real" because they abused some substances to get them thinking out of the box? Pardon me, but you sir are an idiot. No, what I said was that if you are INCAPABLE of doing so without drugs. /reading what was written.
    Except "incapable" or "impossible" were never mentioned in the article. It is simply used to enhance. /reading what was written
    MiseryMonster
    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.
    deathhip
    guys! i swear weed only make you write better the day after you've been getting stoned cause when i get stoned i can only get ideas or music gets sicker
    Jimmyboba
    It would definitely help with recession. Legalise and tax cannabis and you've got yourself a booming industry!
    slaveskinJACKET
    strat0blaster wrote: Municipal Waste wrote: strat0blaster wrote: 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. Okay, so Jimmy Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and countless other musicians and bands aren't "real" because they abused some substances to get them thinking out of the box? Pardon me, but you sir are an idiot. No, what I said was that if you are INCAPABLE of doing so without drugs. /reading what was written.
    I can't find anywhere where anyone said anything about being incapable of appreciating music without marijuana, but especially in the article. So much for reading what was written. It sounds to me like you, strat0blaster, just have some sort of self-esteem/confidence issue, whether it be with your musicianship or whatever it may be, and you're spouting nonsense in order to make others look bad, to put yourself above other people in your own mind (and hopefully others'). ...either that or you're just ignorant, but the two options aren't exclusive of each other. Weed affects different people in different ways. For myself (and apparently countless others), it just makes things better. It heightens my senses, even if it delays them a little bit. I already have an extreme appreciation for [good] music, and it exponentially exaggerates that. It also puts a spark of creativity into me, and that creativity is mine , no matter how it got there. I've never understood the whole caffeine thing, but I guess, for most people, it wakes them up, etc. If a person who wakes up groggy and ready to fall asleep at any second then ingests some caffeine, which perks them right up, would you argue that that person is not actually awake? All I'm saying is that there is more than one way from Point A to Point B. Whether you swim, walk, drive, take an airplane, or get so high that you practically float there, if you wind up in Tennessee, you're still in Tennessee -- regardless of how you got there.
    Bezza27
    Please for the love of god legalize all drugs. It will help the economy, and natural selection will progress a lot quicker. People take drugs, it's easier to get a hold of because its legal. People overdose, only the smart ones that won't pump there systems full of chemicals will survive.
    Glyph92
    Concurssi wrote: Can someone explain to me why, if weed isn't addictive, when stoners run out of weed, they'd gladly take a horse's cock up the ass if it got them some more of god's miracle herb?
    They don't.
    special_kae_911
    Marijuana does not create originality or make you a better musician by any means, but from my own personal experience I have found that the riffs I come up with when I'm stoned are faaaaar better than my sober ones. Give that, I play them 10,000X's better sober because I have my motor reflexes back in full force. In conclusion, Marijuana is capable of helping the user focus on what is in front of them, whether it is playing music or just listening to a damn good album, more so then they can sober. A good musician who chooses to do drugs, whether it is weed, psychedelics, uppers, downers, booze, whatever floats their boat, is their best when they are able to effectively use the drugs in a way that benefits them and their creativity. Drugs are only bad when used incorrectly and irresponsibly. It all comes down to set and setting and what you as an individual are able to physically, mentally, and emotionally handle. Drugs are not for every single individual, but let's let the ones of us who like to experiment do it.
    Eirien
    SmittyMan90 wrote: Sorry but pot may make music seem better, but if its good its good, you shouldnt have to be under the influence of it just to say that.
    No one did. Weed makes the good things in life better and the bad things in life more tolerable.
    Nirvana00125
    I think Frank Zappa said it best: "People use drugs and alcohol as an excuse to be lazy *****s." While this is a bit biased(Zappa being against drug and alcohol abuse), I think it's entirely true. Drugs are not this big "downfall of society" that some would have us believe. But, at the same time, the people who abuse drugs tend to be ignorant teenage stoners and ignorant drug addled young adults. There are very few older adults who will rave about any drug as much as someone 13-25 will and even less who will consider any drug to have benefited them in life. So with that being said: pick your poison. No one should tell you what you can and cannot do to your body. But if your argument is something like "drugs help your music experience/writing music" or "weed just makes everything better" then you should have no say in legalization. In fact it seems like a "best" pro pot individuals("best" meaning they have the best ideas) seem to be people who don't use the drug frequently(or don't use it at all)
    strat0blaster
    Municipal Waste wrote: strat0blaster wrote: 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. Okay, so Jimmy Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and countless other musicians and bands aren't "real" because they abused some substances to get them thinking out of the box? Pardon me, but you sir are an idiot.
    No, what I said was that if you are INCAPABLE of doing so without drugs. /reading what was written.
    PeenieMcGee303
    Concurssi wrote: Can someone explain to me why, if weed isn't addictive, when stoners run out of weed, they'd gladly take a horse's cock up the ass if it got them some more of god's miracle herb?
    Funny that coffee drinkers, tabbaco users and alcoholics feel the same way but you're fine with those things being legal. Also pillheads.
    guitar7masta
    Nirvana00125 - don't believe that everybody that smokes is lazy, that's just propaganda. lazy teenagers will always be lazy, regardless of what drug they use. i know plenty of HARD workers, reliable, and intelligent, that happen to be big smokers.
    ~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.
    mop10893
    metal overlord wrote: You tell em' Angela. Everyone who says music is music whether your sober or not obviously has never expirienced it. What sort of arguement can you make, if you've never tried it? My musical brain becomes a musical monstrosity when I'm stoned, not only do you hear the music but you can feel every bit of it. The rhythm, the flow of it all, it sucks you into this world of greatness. Not condoning the use of it no non-users, but making a point saying theres no valid arguement unless you've expirienced it for yourself
    I have never even smoked a cigarette let alone pot and I can promise you that I get sucked into the music sober. Every last note of a song hits me in such a way that it's like I can't escape, nor do I want to. I'm certainly not against people smoking. If it's something that makes you feel good without doing serious damage then it's fine. But nobody's gonna tell me that I can't hear the music the same way someone who smokes weed does.
    stealstrings
    Well I don't know much about weed, but I wouldn't smoke it. I'm not gonna judge people who do either.
    KerNeL_KLuTcH
    "You see, I think drugs have done some good things for us. I really do. And if you don't believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor. Go home tonight. Take all your albums, all your tapes and all your CDs and burn them. 'Cause you know what, the musicians that made all that great music that's enhanced your lives throughout the years were rrreal ****ing high on drugs." - Bill Hicks
    Air_Stryker
    Edyspaghetti wrote: It's sad that people think you need weed to appreciate music.
    Considering the way modern music is going, I think you need a lot of things to help appreciate it. Perhaps a cerebral haemorrhage?
    LinkinParkOakle
    "See, I think drugs have done some *good* things for us, I really do. And if you dont believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a Favor: go home tonight and take all your albums, all your tapes, and all your cds and burn em. 'Cause you know what? The musicians whove made all that great music thats enhanced your lives throughout the years... Rrrrrreal ----- high on drugs." --Bill Hicks
    guitar7masta
    Concurssi wrote: Can someone explain to me why, if weed isn't addictive, when stoners run out of weed, they'd gladly take a horse's cock up the ass if it got them some more of god's miracle herb?
    that all depends on the person. some people are depressed and need it to stay happy. others just don't care, they like to be high all the time. others just have absolutely no willpower. they mostly do it because, well, it feels good. but if those same people were to quit? whether they had no choice, or are just doing it for themselves, there wouldn't be any problem. you don't crave it like a cigarette, or alcohol. it's a want, not a need. you would have to smoke it yourself to understand.
    hansome21
    I started smoking pot at 21 and have never looked back, I used to have a lot of anger issues and pain in my right shoulder and knee from football/tennis in high school. After I started smoking, my GPA sky rocketed (in college i was always 2.75-3.0, now im always 4.0), I never got angry and blew up at my friends again, and I learned how to play guitar by ear much better, something I have wanted forever. I never did it as a teenager, and I always made fun of potheads. Now I know I was the idiot. It's much more of a medicine than a drug, I still get drunk all the time but THAT is a drug, sometimes I feel like I'll never wake up from liquor.
    SmittyMan90
    Sorry but pot may make music seem better, but if its good its good, you shouldnt have to be under the influence of it just to say that.
    GameSkate
    I don't like when people say you need to be high to enjoy and write good music.
    I hate it too. If you can't write good song without drugs - you failed at beign musican.
    Sylvanus
    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.
    the_messenger66
    I am in discomfort and pain most days due to IBS, and I'm not gonna lie, cannabis totally helps me feel better. Also, I have a friend has headaches to the point of not being able to eat (and keep it down) due to nausea. She's been to so many doctors, and they all have unsuccessful. Out of desperation, she tried weed, and found her headaches stopped completely. She wants to get a medicinal license, but can't because we live in Texas.
    slaveskinJACKET
    PoisonMuffin 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. drugs are to artists what stereoids are to athletes. If people depend on substances to be creative, then the creativity is not theirs
    So, what you're saying is that Edgar Allan Poe never wrote a single thing and that all of his writing is mistakenly credited to him, whereas it should be credited to opium? That's ridiculous and preposterous.
    Nirvana00125
    The amount of ignorant pro-pot posts has destroyed the faith I still had in UG users. I'm not going to debate weed being legal or illegal. Whether you use drugs or not, weed is a drug that should be legalized and if you can't see reasons why(other than "pot makes you feel good and "enhances the mind" bullcrap) then you should do some research into how much the US spends on their drug war(btw: estimates are between 30-60% of the drug war is specifically weed, which is pretty sad) That being said, this whole "weed enhances your music experience" is also stupid. I like my share of "weird" music and being under the influence of any drug has never changed my experience when it comes to music(with the exception of acid but that's an entirely different sort of feeling and experience). IF you need a drug to "really understand the music" then you're a pretty bad "musician". I can get all the ins and outs and various sounds on Frank Zappa's Freak Out! and Pink Floyd's DSOTM(two well known psychedelic rock influenced albums) without being high, if anything I get into it more while sober. Oh, and Arch Enemy are self professed "metalheads" who listen to mostly heavy metal music. If you need weed to "understand" heavy metal music....well let's just say there's a reason Arch Enemy has progressively gotten worse over the years.