Snoop Dogg has been criticised for posting pictures of himself and former footballer Paul Gascoigne on Instagram to illustrate the negative effects of alcohol compared to cannabis.
The US rapper uploaded a picture showing him and the ex-England midfielder at the ages of 20 and 47, in an apparent attempt to show that “marijuana abuse” is safer than addiction to alcohol.
His post has divided his followers, with some praising him for “speaking the truth” about the dangers of drinking and others accusing him of a lack of respect for Gascoigne, 52, who has repeatedly struggled with alcoholism and mental health issues over the years.
Piers Morgan is among those to have criticised the 47-year-old Gin And Juice rapper over the post, tweeting: “This is nasty. Shame on you @SnoopDogg.”
Another tweeter said they had “lost all respect for Snoop” for the picture, while another said: “Snoop Dogg is cancelled for going after Gazza.”
Gascoigne, who helped England to the semi-finals of Euro 96 with what many consider to be one of the greatest goals in tournament history against Scotland, has not issued a direct response to the controversial post but has shared an emoji-laden tweet from a holiday in Benidorm since the outcry began.
He said: “Wow thanks so much re (sic) tweets loved them. As you can see a few tears. But honestly I love you’s (sic) guys be good enjoy the rest of the day huge hugs from GAZZA.”
Snoop Dogg – who recently branched out into the world of food by releasing his first cookbook – has famously been an advocate for cannabis for years and has previously claimed he once smoked 81 blunts in a single day.
The hip hop legend and recent addition to the Hollywood Walk of Fame also has a commercial partnership with US cannabis company Canopy and believes the drug should be completely legal for recreational use.
Cannabis is legal for recreational use in just 10 states across the United States, and is illegal in dozens of other countries around the world – including the UK.
The drug was legalised for medicinal purposes on prescription in the UK last year, but the Home Office has said the government has “no plans to decriminalise recreational cannabis” despite calls for a review into the law.