Everyone's favorite science guy is back – and, like the millennials who grew up watching him on TV, his interests have matured. Netflix's Bill Nye Saves the World tackles the science behind complex subjects like climate change, the sexual spectrum, and, yes, marijuana. As disorienting as it is to watch the bow-tied Nineties goofball drop words like "kush" and "coitus," it's also rather encouraging, in today's world of alternative facts, to know that Bill Nye is still out there fighting the good fight: educating the public, debunking pseudoscience and doing his darndest to make learning fun. In his episode about weed, released at the end of December, Nye buys bud from a dispensary in Los Angeles, talks to stoner-movie director Kevin Smith about getting high with Seth Rogen, and learns about the advanced medical cannabis research happening in Israel. We reached Nye recently at his home in California to talk all things pot and science.
Jeff Sessions famously said "good people don't smoke marijuana." Do you think good scientists can smoke marijuana?
Yeah! I don't really see eye to eye with Jeff Sessions on this issue. If you want to smoke marijuana you should be able to smoke it. We should have the same controls that we have on other substances. I don't want to be on an airplane with a bunch of people smoking weed, in the same way that I don't want to be on an airplane with a bunch of people smoking cigarettes. I enjoy a martini as much as the next guy – maybe more – but then I don't operate a motor vehicle after having a martini. I don't want to be on the road with drunk people, and I don't want to be on the road with stoned people. All things in moderation.
On the marijuana episode of your show, you talk about how annoying it was when your ultimate Frisbee teammates would play stoned, a few decades back. It did seem like you think using cannabis gets people impaired in a way that could be problematic.
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