Gene Simmons Accepts Job at Cannabis Company

KISS bassist Gene Simmons has reportedly accepted a job as "Chief Evangelist Officer" at a publicly-traded Canadian cannabis company called Invictus

A spokesman said the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer would provide the company—which produces cannabis, vaporizer and fertilizer products—with "marketing counsel, serving as a spokesperson in the media, public appearances and participation in the company’s annual general meeting and investor meetings, among others."

If you're not sure whether you should be surprised about this or not, you're not alone.

On one hand, Simmons prides himself on never using drugs (except for one time when he unknowingly ate a "special" brownie). Simmons for most of his life decried the evils of drugs and frequently insulted the intellect and will power of addicts.

On the other hand, Gene Simmons boasts an impressive resumé as a marketer, and puts capitalism above all else.

So it could have gone either way here.

Simmons himself hasn't yet addressed the apparent hypocrisy of his new role. In the release, he praised Invictus CEO Dan Kriznic for his approach. 

"Values and family are very important to me, and when I first connected with Dan at Invictus, I understood immediately that we enjoyed a shared passion for these key life foundations," Simmons said. "Instead of launching straight into business, we talked about the things that matter the most."

Simmons once told Rolling Stone that he threatened his children with hard labor and being written out of his will if they ever used drugs. But he's come across as even more extreme than that.

It was only a few years ago that the bassist said addicts are "losers" and specifically referred to Prince as "pathetic" for reportedly getting addicted to the painkillers that eventually killed him. 

Simmons later apologized for the remark saying he has "a long history of getting very angry at what drugs do to the families/friends of the addicts."

Simmons is working on a new book called 27. The book focuses on famous musicians and entertainers who died around age 27. Many of them died from drug overdoses or other drug-related issues.

He has said in the past the reason he never tried drugs is because of his mother, who is a Holocaust survivor. 

As an only child, Simmons asks himself, in light of his mother's suffering, "What right do I have to torture her and make her unhappy? No, that's never gonna happen."

Perhaps Simmons has changed his mind on cannabis, noting the drug's considerable medicinal properties and sustainability. It's not clear, though.

Pot isn't addictive, after all, so he couldn't reasonably object to it from that standpoint.

But the idea of Simmons going out and advertising something he has for years characterized as evil still seems awfully disingenuous. 

Photo: Getty Images


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