Miley Cyrus’ mother has inadvertently sparked a social media debate about white privilege in the criminal justice system after posing for a photo in front of what appears to be several massive bags of marijuana.
The issue started when her husband, singer Billy Ray Cyrus, posted a photo to Twitter and Instagram earlier this week that showed his wife, Tish Cyrus, posing next to what looks like a safe containing more than 16 bags of pot roughly the size of her head.
“Yes! Like I said yesterday @TishCyrus.... my how the times they are a changing #CrAzYMaMa,” Cyrus wrote in the caption.
Although the Cyrus family has been open about their recreational marijuana use in the past, with Miley telling "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon that she's an avid user, it was still a jarring image that Tish gave context to in the comments of her husband’s Instagram post.
“First of all… My husband @billyraycyrus is INSANE, Second, this pictures is also insane, and third this is NOT my weed or my house! hahah. But if it was, that would be amazing for so many reasons!”
However, the explanation didn’t satisfy many, who quickly took to the comments to argue that people of color are often jailed for having small amounts of pot on them, while the celebrity family gets to pose with a large amount with impunity.
“Now speak out about all of the people (mostly black and brown) sitting in prison for possessing or selling less than one of those bags,” one user wrote.
“I get ppl are excited that it's being decriminalized but so many ppl are still incarcerated and families torn apart for a small portion of what this locker contains. #Thinkbeforeyoutweet,” wrote another critic.
“Please use your societal position to amplify the injustice of every single human being forced to live in a cage (a population that is disproportionately Black) because of the contrived illegality of this same plant,” another user noted. “FREE. THEM. ALL.”
It’s worth noting that recreational marijuana is legal in the state of California, where the Cyrus family spends a lot of time in addition to their rural Nashville estate. It’s unclear where the photo in question was taken, though. Regardless, California’s weed laws provide for a limited amount that any private citizen can possess at a given time, which the bounty in Billy Ray’s photo likely exceeds. In addition, it's unclear if the stockpile even belongs to a private citizen or legal a legal dispensary business.