Because marijuana is still federally prohibited in America, a lot of activists struggle to get ads on the nation's airwaves, which are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). But Dead & Company - a jam band formed by surviving members of The Grateful Dead - found a creative way to get around the rules by turning their recent set on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" into an extended ad for legalization.
The band brought members of the California Cannabis Industry Association and the L.A. dispensary Buds & Roses to the outdoor concert that was broadcast on the May 10th edition of the show. The activists and advocates were encouraged to wear shirts and hold signs to promote legalization while rocking out to the band, which featured three Grateful Dead members (Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart) as well as singer songwriter John Mayer and bassist Oteil Burbrige of the Allman Brothers Band.
For Grateful Dead alumni, who have been preaching to the choir about marijuana since they gained infamy as part of the 60s counterculture, the gig was a chance to expand their message to mainstream America.
"The folks it would be hitting on that broadcast would be outside our normal sphere of influence," Weir told the Los Angeles Times. "We're about music, but we're about other stuff as well, and we always have been. We need to make our feelings on the subject as apparent as we can."
Here are some highlights from the set, which was held on a stage set up behind Hollywood's historic El Capitan Theatre. At times, the concert looked like a tie-dye flash mob, and there were thick plumes of smoke from some unidentified source during the performance. Enjoy!