Lawsuit Alleges ‘Massive Marijuana Use’ at Universal Music Group Headquarters…

First, the feds busted a massive cocaine ring being operated out of the Santa Monica headquarters of Universal Music Group.  But no one said anything about this: according to a recently-filed lawsuit in LA Superior Court, artists and executives at UMG headquarters are smoking massive amounts of marijuana.

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Indeed, according to the complaint, there seem to be very few places where pot smoke isn’t positively billowing (Hollywood Reporter has the full filing).

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The lawsuit comes from an unnamed security guard, employed by Universal Protection Services.  The guard raised the issue to her superiors, who seemed rather ‘mellow’ on the problem.  In fact, plenty of artists offered the guard a hit, on numerous occasions.


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And this is really, really a lot of weed consumption we’re talking about.  The filing notes that ‘various studio equipment was becoming stained and affected by the marijuana smoking,’ Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) employees were complaining, and all sorts of paraphernalia and leftover bags were frequently discovered.

The rather comic filing also discusses an incident involving Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, who brazenly lit a joint in the lobby.  “It’s Adam Levine, you know from Maroon 5.  He can do whatever he wants,” a UMPG employee allegedly responded.  “If he wants to come to the lobby and do a line of coke on the floor, it’s okay.”

Actually, the complaint makes UMG seem like a rather stimulating work atmosphere.  The guard reported “finding bras hanging in the studio and people being found passed out in the showers after partying and drug use,” not to mention condoms in bathrooms and  “UMPG employees engaged in intimate touching and grinding, involving buttocks and genitalia.”

The less comic aspects refer to harder (but unspecified drugs), and some issues with firearms.  Bodyguards for T.I., for example, demanded special parking privileges in case of “a shootout or [if] something goes down,” among other incidents.  On that note, one superior asked the guard to report anything suspicious related to weaponry, while also noting that building management would probably look the other way.  “Until there’s a body floating in that pond over there, [management] isn’t gonna do anything about it,” a superior said.

44 Responses

  1. visitor

    “according to a recently filed in LA Superior Court, artists and executives at UMG headquarters are smoking massive amounts of marijuana”

    I’m shocked.

    • Dandy

      Jimmy Iovine is so clever! He is making the musicians sell drugs & cocaine to make money to invest in BEATS, MOG, DAISY…..

  2. rikki

    so what? when i worked for Wtma in Charleston SC 20 years ago smoking pot while on the air was common place….

  3. NoNotice52

    Given UMG’s position in the market, at least on the publishing side of things, after reading this story their competitors might be considering a more “green” office environment themselves…

  4. RadicalRuss

    This just in: Rock & Hip-Hop Musicians Smoke A Lot of Weed at Work, No Fucks Given.

  5. @Maddie_Brady

    Not quiet sure what UMG they work at, but it’s not the one I work at.

  6. OutofTheMusicBiz

    This occurred, occurs, at ALL the major label groups, and ?

  7. ImaSellout

    The guard is now qualified to work at the seven legal medical marijuana dispenseries operating in a five block radius of UMG headquarters.

  8. Hate Usher


  9. Principlex

    I wouldn’t have anything to do with UMG. Everything is going to be screwed up.

  10. PTSoundHound

    Funding of organised crime through serving ads on pirate sites => howls of outrage

    Funding of organised crime through the drug trade => “yeah, so what?”

    Gotta laugh.

    • Me

      It’s California. Most marijuana here comes from hippies in Humboldt County, not from organized crime.

  11. Martijn

    What is exactly the news here? Greetings from Amsterdam 🙂

  12. Old Hippy

    Wow weed really is too strong nowadays. Back in the day it helped produce good music…clearly not working for Levine and others.

  13. mrlk

    ha ha ! – no-one *ever* smoked weed at polygram sussex place or chancellors road offices in the uk – and there wasn’t *anyone* who was a dedicated runner for gak – honest guv’nor

  14. PandaEngineer

    People smoke weed all the time it’s the music industry, besides most people are smart enough to get a medical card. It’s just weed, your not going to die. GET THE SAND OUT OF YOUR CLIT and move on, ” omg I was offered weed” boohoo so is everyone else in college and I don’t see many students suing there school because someone was kind enough to offer their stash.

  15. robaljames

    My initial question is why the hell didn’t UMG ask their guards to sign confidentiality agreements, as they deal with celebrities on a daily basis. Assuming this falls under a whistleblower protection law, I am completely torn in my thoughts.

    While I fervently believe in protecting whistleblowers in this ever-increasing corrupt corporate & government world we live in (Bradley Manning), I think filing a lawsuit about pot smoking at a music company (in California, no less!) is a waste of taxpayer money and everyone’s time.

    Worst. Security Guard. EVER.

  16. Lyor Obama

    Why would anyone SUE? Sounds like a desperate, spiteful person to me.

  17. visitor

    Anyone have the plaintiff’s name and/or contact information?
    This guy needs a wake-up call from the entire country.

  18. spassky

    The image of Adam Levine lying prone in the lobby of UMG with his face laying in a pile of coke like a down pillow.

  19. Visitor

    So you’re telling me there’s drug use in the music industry??

  20. Randy

    In my days it was no different, only we had more helpful security personel that would often have really good acid.

  21. jway

    “guard raised the issue to her superiors, who seemed rather ‘mellow’ on the problem”

    What “problem”? Marijuana is a FAR safer alternative to alcohol and these people were making the safer choice by choosing marijuana over alcohol. Are we so indebted to the alcohol industry that we have to protect their monopoly on recreational drugs by continuing the absurd and deadly marijuana prohibition? END the prohibition and LEGALIZE marijuana like beer and wine!

  22. visitor

    Instead of filing a lawsuit, she should’ve wrote a book!

  23. Anon

    The drug usage isn’t really going to matter with this case. The fact that the supervisor’s did not remedy the situation is why she will win. They could have moved her post as a form of “fixing” the situation but after mutliple complaints they still did nothing to ease her work environment. This is purely employment and workplace law at it’s finest and that’s what she is suing for. Settlement for millions. THEN those confidentiality forms will come. BUT seriously, it’s the music industry, know where you’re applying to work.

    • Jan A.

      Good point, I agree on that. It could absolutely win for that.

  24. Visitor

    Let’s not forget what this is all about!

    The cost of drug abuse:

    $524 Billion a year to the US economy (according to NIDA)

    and that’s just the US economy.

    And I thought music piracy was a drag on the economy!

    Nobody likes drugtards anymore

    Thanks for posting this! Let’s win this war on pira….erm I mean drugs!

  25. Yves Villeneuve

    Educational Comment:

    It isn’t THC, the mind-altering compound in Cannabis making people believe they are smarter than they actually are, that provides medicinal benefits.

    In fact the medicinal compound in Cannabis is called Cannabinol and is not a mind-altering drug.

  26. jordan

    You mean people in the music industry smoke weed??? Thanks for blowing the doors off of that huge conspiracy guys, haha 😉

  27. Visitor

    G’ddamn right. The day that musicians can’t smoke weed in labels is the day that the labels should shut their doors.

    Anyone arguing against that fact should go into banking. You don’t belong here.

    It’s legal in California anyway. WTF.