Neil deGrasse Tyson is a astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, and science communicator known for making the wonders of science more interesting and fun for the world. Before Tyson became the renowned scientist he is today, he visited the Hayden Planetarium at a very young age, which significantly affected his life, “...so strong was that imprint [of the night sky] that I'm certain that I had no choice in the matter, that in fact, the universe called me." After high school, where Tyson was editor-in-chief of the Physical Science Journal, he went on to study physics at Harvard University. Tyson then continued his education by pursuing a master's degree in astronomy at the University of Texas, and a master's and doctorate in astrophysics at Columbia University. After completing his education, Tyson worked as a research associate at Princeton University, where he eventually joined the faculty as a visiting research scientist and lecturer. From 1995 to 2005, Tyson wrote monthly essays for “Universe”, a Natural History magazine column. Tyson’s name became even more popular in the 2000s when he began to host “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” the successor to Carl Sagan’s show “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage”. Now, Tyson regularly appears on TV, radio, and various news outlets while also hosting his show “StarTalk”, which discusses science and pop culture with notable guests.

Whoopi Goldberg was one of these notable guests who appeared on his show to discuss her relationship with marijuana. Tyson agrees with Whoopi about marijuana to an extent because they both see no logic in continuing to prohibit the drug. Even though Tyson supports marijuana legalization, he doesn’t smoke it like Sagan once did because he doesn’t see it as the the best path to enlightenment. “If you’re in an altered state, you can think something is good that you just created, but it really isn’t. For me, the least altered state of awareness I can achieve is the one that I seek, because that one is most likely to be closest to reality.”