Hannah Hart sparks a debate on YouTube

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Actress, author and YouTube personality Hannah Hart quite literally lit up a few fans this past week over on her YouTube channel “My Drunk Kitchen.” The video, featuring comedian Sarah Silverman (of course she would be in Hannah’s one controversial video), features both of the women smoking weed and baking. “Obviously this video may SPARK some debate…” Hannah wrote in the video description. “Which I encourage! Also everything we put into our bodies (from alcohol to aspirin) should be used in moderation.”

The video itself isn’t so much a plea to legalize weed or a pro-weed video. It is simply a video that shows Sarah and Hannah baking a Veggie Pot Pie (oh, the puns I am having to write today) while smoking a blunt, instead of drinking like Hannah usually does. What’s so interesting about the video is the nonchalant way Hannah barely acknowledges what she’s smoking til halfway through as if to say, “What’s the big deal?”

A large amount of the viewers were disappointed by the video as one  commenter wrote, “I’m disappointed to see you promote drug use Hannah. Which is what it is no matter how much it sways your mind to think otherwise. How is it different from taking ecstasy or cocaine? or heroine? because you think you can control the addiction? (sic)”  Another viewer wrote, “This is really disappointing to see…YouTube has a huge amount of under 18 viewers so it’s really sad to see YouTubers such as Hannah (who are highly regarding by young teens) endorsing something illegal and actually quite harmful. It’s not illegal just because governments think it’s funny or so they can get more revenue from cigarette and alcohol taxes; weed is illegal because it can have serious repercussions on mental stability and can cause very serious and debilitating conditions such as Schizophrenia. If it’s not meant to go in, don’t take it. “

Reactions were quite diverse, although most YouTubers were far more supportive and positive than the average commenter. Fellow YouTuber Neil McNeil wrote, “There’s so many things I want to say about this video but I’m going to keep it short and sweet: I have so much respect for Hannah for being so open about this, and I wish more people in the public eye would follow suit. Smoking, like drinking, isn’t something people should overindulge in, but when used in moderation (whether it be fore medical purposes or recreational use) it’s not a bad thing.” Tyler Oakley also threw in his support by writing simply, “Gosh I loved this.”

The debate many people are having–which I find most interesting–is whether it was appropriate for Hannah to release a video that promotes pot smoking when she has so many young viewers. The debate over whether pot should be legalized isn’t happening, perhaps because there is no case for pot in the video itself. It is true that the majority of Hannah’s viewers are young. At Playlist Live, 80% of the fans who stood in line to meet her, Mamrie Hart and Grace Helbig were teenagers. But my thoughts are: Why are we thinking of the children now when the title of Hannah’s show is “My Drunk Kitchen”? If it took pot smoking to make us so uncomfortable that young viewers are watching Hannah’s video, then I’m not sure any arguments are valid.

While I do think it’s bold that Hannah threw in her support for the legalization of weed, she could have done it in a more pointed way. If she wanted to “spark” a debate on weed, then she should make a case for it in the video. As she did not, the debate centers on viewers support or disapproval of Hannah herself. For this reason, I question Hannah’s true intentions with the video: Is it to actually start a debate or just to start some controversy?

Either way, it’s telling that people are more worried about teenagers watching a video featuring Hannah smoking weed rather than drinking. We all know teens wouldn’t be influenced by a show titled “My Drunk Kitchen”. 😉

If you feel so inclined, watch the video below and leave a comment with your thoughts on Hannah’s debate.

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