10/21/2014 03:39 pm ET Updated Oct 21, 2014

Here's How Hip-Hop Can Help Shape Marijuana Policy

The marriage of weed and hip-hop is nothing new. Snoop has long been a proponent of the magical plant, and the enthusiasm for it in rap circles has not slowed down, as artists like Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y continue to promote sparking up in mainstream hip-hop today.

Most recently, Afroman, another weed-supporting hip-hop artist, remixed his stoner anthem "Because I Got High," in order to raise more awareness of the beneficial side effects of weed.

With marijuana now legal in two states, Colorado and Washington, awareness is at an all-time high in the mainstream too. Enter Caviar Gold, a marijuana dispensary in Seattle, which has started paying rappers like Redman and Kurupt to endorse weed.

This development leads to a question: how will legal endorsements of marijuana affect the overall movement? Professor and political analyst Jason Johnson, along with Vocativ writer Abigail Tracy and rapper Jasiri X, joined a HuffPost Live roundtable on Tuesday to discuss the issue.

"I also hope, not only in ownership, that some of these rappers get involved in the policy aspect of this, because you can make your money on the local level, but you got to push for more than just legalization. You got to push for a universalizing of how legal this is," Johnson told host Nancy Redd. "I hope they don't stop with advocacy and endorsements. I hope they go to Congress. I hope they give money to representatives. I hope they really get involved with this."

"We got to look at the future," Johnson said. "It's like gay marriage and anything else. This is eventually going to drop in every state. Marijuana is going to be legal in every state. The question is going to be, what is the next step? We're going to have these rappers, I want to see what happens with the politicians ... Rap and hip-hop, as usual, is ahead of the game."

Watch the rest of the clip above.

The discussion also turned to how the push to legalize, or even decriminalize, marijuana affects children growing up, the children who are listening to the hip-hop artists that promote the substance. Jasiri said at this point, the debate over weed isn't just about hip-hop.

"I also think it's important to note that our last three presidents smoked marijuana. This isn't even just a conversation about hip-hop," he said. "It really becomes, 'At what point do we make common-sense decisions when it comes to policing? When it comes to whether or not you want to attack something or allow people to do something that a lot of people are already doing anyway."

Catch the full HuffPost Live conversation here.

Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live's new morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!



Quotes From Uruguay's Weed-Legalizing Prez