Throwback: Peter Tosh-Legalize It

Peter Tosh wrote “Legalize It” to express his belief in the legalization of marijuana. In 1976 when the song was released as part of the album also titled Legalize It, the concept was unheard of. Tosh had left The Wailers and gone solo and the controversy surrounding this song made him a musical folk hero around the world. He made the prediction in 1977 when speaking with NME that “Herb will become like cigarettes.” He famously smoked marijuana at Bob Marley’s Peace concert in 1978 and criticized Jamaican politicians Michael Manley and Edward Seaga for not making the plant legal. He was taken into custody by the police months later after leaving a dancehall in Kingston and was severely beaten although he committed no crime. The Legalize It album became an introduction to reggae music for many American listeners. Tosh’s debut solo album led the way for his legend to begin outside of The Wailers and is the first of seven studio albums. Tosh was violently killed during a home invasion in 1987 at the age of 42 and did not live to see the spread of marijuana legalization currently taking place around the world. He is remembered for his work with The Wailers, his solo music and his politics that were also anti-nuclear war and anti-racism.

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