Maverick filmmaker, actor, author, comedian and comic book writer Kevin Smith is best known for his hit movies “Clerks,” “Mallrats,” “Chasing Amy” and “Jersey Girl.” He also happens to be instantly recognizable since he played the iconic character Silent Bob in many of his own films.
Since so many of his films’ characters are Cannabis users, it may surprise you to know that Smith actually didn’t start consuming it until 2009. But that’s the truth. Smith told MTV in 2011 that he credits Seth Rogen (whom he worked with on the film “Zack and Miri Make a Porno”) with being the person who made him into a “stoner.” Smith said that he and Rogen smoked weed in the editing room while cutting the movie, and that it helped with creativity and getting “fear” out of the equation when it came to making creative decisions. In the interview, he also credits weed with making him more productive.
In 2016, he told Thrillist, “I can count on one hand the amount of times I smoked weed from birth to age 38. At age 38, I worked with Seth Rogen. That changed everything. I was like, ‘This guy is a multi-tasker. He can do a zillion things at once and he is fucking blazed all the time. He gets along with everybody and he has got no stress in his life. The dude is just a zen pool of calm.’”
Smith also talked about how Cannabis has been medicinally beneficial to him, saying, “I don’t drink. Some people have booze. Some people have medications. I don’t have any of that shit, but weed allows me to get out of my own fucking head and off of my ass, and relate to people better.” Since many of us have had the same experience with the plant, it’s refreshing to hear from a filmmaker as highly regarded as Smith on this important issue.
Fortunately, that’s not where this story ends for Smith – like your friends here at Leaf Magazines, he’s also on a mission to normalize Cannabis for the mainstream. “I am glad that I became a stoner late in life. Age 38,” said Smith. “I was never a fucking stoner prior to age 38. Now, I am a fucking born-again stoner. Weed is not a ‘thing,’ really. It is not. Once Colorado and Washington were legal, everybody is like, ‘Oh, it is not that big a deal.’ When I was a kid, it was like, ‘Fucking just say no, and it’s evil, and fucking it will lead to crack cocaine and shit.’”
In 2013, shortly after early U.S. legalization in Colorado and Washington, Smith appeared on Canadian television in Toronto on a morning show, touting his film “Yoga Hosers.” The interviewer posed the question, “What’s the secret of how you get things done?” Smith told the host, “Well, I’m a huge stoner … but a productive one.” Smith then went on to extol the virtues of how Cannabis has helped his productivity. He noted that he wakes and bakes and enjoys a “THC-managed day.”
Fast forward to today and it seems like the taboo is slowly fading away from the stigmas associated with Cannabis use in the United States. Smith’s home state of New Jersey legalized it in 2020, with recreational sales beginning last summer – and yes, Smith is yet again using his platform to promote the plant – with the plot of upcoming film “Clerks III” set inside of a recreational shop (owned by Jay and Silent Bob, of course).