Legalize It

Legalize It is an album and song by Peter Tosh. Legalize It was Tosh's debut album as a solo artist after leaving the Wailers. It was recorded at Treasure Isle and Randy's, Kingston, Jamaica in 1976 and released in Jamaica in the same year.[1]

Legalize It
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 1976
StudioTreasure Isle and Randy's, Kingston, Jamaica
LabelVirgin, Columbia
ProducerPeter Tosh
Peter Tosh chronology
Legalize It
Equal Rights

Legalize It is one of the two solo albums released in 1976 by Wailers members, along with Bunny Wailer's album Blackheart Man. Bob Marley and his new Wailers also released Rastaman Vibration.

The song was written in response to his ongoing victimization by the Jamaican police and as a political piece pushing for the legalization of cannabis, particularly for medical use.[1] In 1977, Tosh backed this up by saying "We are the victims of Rasclot circumstances. Victimization, colonialism, gonna lead to bloodbath".[2] Tosh also said "Herb will become like cigarettes", in an NME interview in 1978.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [3]
Christgau's Record GuideB[4]
Rolling Stone(favorable)[5]

The title track was banned when released in Jamaica in 1975. Attempts to suppress the song failed, however, catapulting Tosh to international fame.[1]

The album was released in the United States in June 1976 and appeared on the Billboard 200 album chart for two weeks, peaking at No. 199. In 1999, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for over one million copies sold.[6]

Reviewing in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), Robert Christgau wrote: "Unlike most sidemen who go on to pursue their own artistic interests, ex-Wailer Tosh has managed to gather about half an album for his solo debut, which ain't bad. 'Ketchy Shuby' even has the makings of a novelty hit. But oh, how his light heart and romantic spirit are missed among his old mates."[4]

The album was included in the 2005 book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[7]

Track listingEdit

All tracks composed by Peter Tosh; except where indicated

  1. "Legalize It" – 4:35
  2. "Burial" (Tosh, Bunny Livingston) – 3:54
  3. "What'cha Gonna Do?" – 2:25
  4. "No Sympathy" – 4:35
  5. "Why Must I Cry" (Tosh, Bob Marley) – 3:08
  6. "Igziabeher (Let Jah Be Praised)" – 4:37
  7. "Ketchy Shuby" – 4:53
  8. "Till Your Well Runs Dry" (Tosh, Livingston) – 6:09
  9. "Brand New Second Hand" – 4:03

Sony Legacy EditionEdit

A Sony Legacy Edition was released in June 2011. It was produced by Jerry Rappaport and Sam Dion.

Disc 1: Original LP and demos

  1. "Legalize It"
  2. "Burial"
  3. "What'cha Gonna Do"
  4. "No Sympathy"
  5. "Why Must I Cry"
  6. "Igziabeher (Let Jah Be Praised)"
  7. "Ketchy Shuby"
  8. "Till Your Well Runs Dry"
  9. "Brand New Second Hand"
  10. "Legalize It" (Demo)
  11. "No Sympathy" (Demo)
  12. "Why Must I Cry" (Demo)
  13. "Igziabeher (Let Jah Be Praised)" (Demo)
  14. "Ketchy Shuby" (Demo)
  15. "Till Your Well Runs Dry" (Demo)
  16. "Brand New Second Hand" (Demo)

Disc 2: Tosh's original mix, alternates and dubs

  1. "Legalize It"
  2. "Burial"
  3. "What'cha Gonna Do"
  4. "No Sympathy"
  5. "Why Must I Cry"
  6. "Igziabeher (Let Jah Be Praised)"
  7. "Ketchy Shuby"
  8. "Till Your Well Runs Dry"
  9. "Brand New Second Hand"
  10. "Legalize It" (Alternate Version)
  11. "Burial" (Dub Plate)
  12. "What'cha Gonna Do" (Shajahshoka Dub Plate)
  13. "Igziabeher (Let Jah Be Praised)" (Shajahshoka Dub Plate)
  14. "Second Hand" (Shajahshoka Dub Plate)
  15. "Burial" (Dub Plate)
  16. "Legalize It" (Dub Plate)

Disc 1, Tracks 1–9 released as original LP - Columbia PC 34253 (U.S.), 1976

Disc 1, Tracks 10–16 and Disc 2, Tracks 1-10 previously unreleased

Disc 2, Tracks 11–12 and 14–16 released on limited edition dubplates, 1976

Disc 2, Track 13 from The Ultimate Peter Tosh Experience (Shanachie 6802, 2009)



Chart performance for Legalize It
Chart (1976) Peak
US Billboard 200[8] 199


  1. ^ a b c Dimery, Robert (2010). 1001 songs you must hear before you die. United Kingdom: Cassell Illustrated. p. 360. ISBN 978-1-84403-736-0.
  2. ^ Davis, Stephen (1977). Reggae Bloodlines. ISBN 9780306804960.
  3. ^ Legalize It at AllMusic
  4. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: T". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 16, 2019 – via
  5. ^ Rolling Stone review[dead link]
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2001). Top Pop Albums. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 888. ISBN 0-89820-147-0.
  7. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (7 February 2006). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5.
  8. ^ "Peter Tosh Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 1 May 2021.

External linksEdit