Scottish actor Brian Cox has portrayed a range of characters, from Dr. Hannibal Lecter to Winston Churchill. Yet despite a stellar acting career spanning over half a century, his position on pot just got him removed as the spokesperson for one organization.
On Thursday, Cox was dropped as the public face for Mid-Lin Daycare Centre, a senior care facility and charity located in his hometown of Dundee, Scotland. Just days prior to his termination as Mid-Lin’s patron, Cox said, during a Guardian interview, that he began smoking cannabis at age 50.
“I realized I missed out on what was going on with young people because I was so square, and I was working so hard, I needed something to relax,” he said. “So, I discovered the wonderful world of cannabis.”
Later in the same interview, Cox recommended that anyone who hasn’t tried weed should try it. Those comments struck a nerve with Mid-Lin Daycare Centre’s officials, given that Dundee was dubbed Scotland’s “drug death capital” last summer after a rash of overdose deaths occurred in the city.
“Dundee is drug-ridden,” Mid-Lin’s Chairperson, Joyce McIntosh, told The Courier. “We just can’t support Brian’s views on cannabis. We are shocked and disappointed.”
“I couldn’t actually believe it when I read the papers,” she continued. “He has a CBE [a royal title one step below a knight] and all these awards and honorary positions, and next thing, we’re seeing that he’s telling people to get stoned. It’s absolutely ridiculous, and it’s setting a bad example for young people.”
Ironically, no one has died from smoking too much weed. So, it’s odd that Cox lost his patron position at Mid-Lin over simply recommending pot to the public, especially given that he called for fully decriminalizing all drugs last August, just two months after Dundee received its “drug death capital” designation.
What likely got Cox in trouble is his rising star: Last week, he won a Golden Globe for his performance in the HBO media-family drama Succession. The UK is currently fighting over whether to expand its incredibly limited medical marijuana program, and legalizing recreational weed is also a politically hot topic there at the moment.
Regardless, Cox remains the patron of the Scottish Youth Theatre, THE SPACE theatre, and The Old Rep Theatre. He also serves as the rector of the University of Dundee, a position he’s held since 2010.
“I am sorry to hear that Mid-Lin Day Care Centre were shocked and disappointed by my comments regarding marijuana, which were actually made in good humor,” Cox said to The Courier. “To clarify, I am a firm believer in the medicinal benefits of marijuana and have partaken in its use in places where it is legal to do so.”
He added, “I wish Mid-Lin the best in all their future endeavors.”
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