MasonTvert, right, communications director of the Marijuana Policy Project, watches as photographers crowd into a room to see the first purchase of recreational marijuana at 3D Cannabis Center in Denver on Jan. 1. (RJ Sangosti, Denver Post file)

Mason Tvert responds to his viral, “SNL”-mocked interview with Nancy Grace

Nancy Grace isn’t known for her subtlety.

On her HLN show last week, Grace interviewed Marijuana Policy Project director of communications Mason Tvert. Of course Colorado-rooted Tvert has his angle and Grace has hers on the opposite side of the spectrum, making for cable TV gold. But then the clip went viral and received a gentle ribbing on last weekend’s “Saturday Night Live” because of Grace’s verbal illustrations claiming people on marijuana shoot, stab and strangle people and kill families.

“It went as I expected it would,” Tvert told The Cannabist on Monday.

Said Grace in the clip: “The reason I’m against the legalization of pot is because I’ve seen too many felonies, and I don’t mean pot sales or growing pot, like this guy up in Connecticut. I mean people on pot that shoot each other, that stab each other, strangle each other, drive under the influence, kill families — wipe out a whole family.”

Grace went on, talking about a first-hand experience: “The first case, it was a plea — and there was this gorgeous lady standing in the middle of the courtroom crying, and I didn’t understand — I said, ‘What is this case?’ Somebody else was taking a plea, and they said, ‘She’s a stockbroker. She got addicted to pot. She ended up losing her job, wrecked her car, couldn’t make the house payments on her house, so her husband got custody of the children.’ So now she has no house, no car, no family, nothing.”

Tvert said he “received countless emails and text messages and Facebook messages. People saw it and you know you can always tell when a particular segment is special based on the number of people you hear from, and this is one that generated a lot of comments.”


Resources – Colorado marijuana guide: 64 of your questions, answered


Still, Grace’s accusations are very strong-worded — and her microphone was louder than that of her guests. How does Tvert and others he’s heard from feel almost a week later?

“By and large, people think that her positions on this are antiquated and a lot of ways even comical,” Tvert said Monday. “You know, at this point when people hear the arguments that were being made, most people can’t help but laugh at them. But unfortunately there are still a lot of people who believe in the ‘Reefer Madness’ that they were taught, and it demonstrates why we need to be fostering this dialogue.”

So, would Tvert go on Grace’s show again? Definitely, he said.


Map – Marijuana laws in the U.S.


“The next day I emailed the producer with the news of our legalization bill passing in the House in New Hampshire and the decriminalization bill moving forward in D.C. and the introduction of our legalization bill in Maryland and suggested they’d have me on again. She said they’d pass it along to Nancy, and I believe it’s positive to have the discussion.”

Tvert hasn’t seen the “SNL” clip that was most likely inspired by his interview, so we’ll include that here, too: