NEWS
Willow Smith Explains to Mom How to Avoid "Excessive Weed Smoking" in Quarantine
Jada Pinkett-Smith and her now-famous daughter joined "Red Table Talk" to discuss their personal vices, as well as how to stay busy (and sober) during the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Published on April 9, 2020

While an overwhelming number of folks find solace in buds or booze (or both) during the coronavirus crisis, some people are using the opportunity to take much needed tolerance breaks. 

During this week’s episode of Red Table Talk, Willow Smith, her mother Jada Pinkett-Smith, and her grandmother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, discussed their various vices and how they dealt with the temptation of intoxication while self-quarantining against the coronavirus.

Jada began by telling Willow, “I'm really proud of you as well, because you have decided to curb your excessive weed smoking.” 

The 19-year-old Willow replied, jokingly, “You always were telling me, you'd be like, 'Gotta stop that smoking.’" 

"Only because, as your mother, I could see the effects of it that you couldn't,” Jada said.

"And for me, it was like with the history that we have in our family, it was driving me crazy," Banfield-Jones added.

Banfield-Jones once struggled with heroin addiction, but she’s steered clear of the opioid for three decades. However, drug addiction and isolation go hand-in-hand. She felt old urges resurfacing while quarantining, but she got a handle on it after reaching out to her sponsor. 

Jada once also fell into the trap of excessive self-medication back in the day. When the grandmother-mother-daughter trio appeared on Red Table Talk together in 2018, Jada confessed that she popped ecstasy, smoked a ton of weed, and drank a lot of alcohol to deal with severe depression. The drug cocktails and dangerously low moods pushed her to the brink of suicide on more than one ocassion. 

Of course, most of us would scoff at equating the ravages of a deadly heroin addiction or raging alcoholism with the relatively mild habit-forming effects of cannabis. But be honest with yourself: We all know at least one person who could benefit from putting the bong away now and again. 

Additionally, keep in mind that Willow created a stir several years ago when, at the age of 13, a photo surfaced of her wearing socks with cannabis leaves embroidered on them. By 14, rumors swirled among the paparazzi and celebrity-gossip bloggers that Willow was “binging” on weed and purchasing pot paraphernalia with her parents’ permission. Regardless of when Willow actually started blazing, she’s still only 19, just two-years shy of the minimum age of 21 to legally get lit without a medical marijuana card. 

There’s some evidence suggesting that chronic marijuana consumption could affect the development of adolescents, either by increasing their risk of becoming addicted to other drugs (the mostly-debunked gateway drug theory) or contributing to higher amounts of depression or restlessness later in adulthood. But those studies only give us clues; they rarely, if ever, show that cannabis use as a teen actually causes developmental issues. At best, those studies only show correlation. 

Willow said she was weed-free for the past three months, and kept away from the pot pipe by refocusing her energy into yoga. "I know it sounds so cheesy, but around the time I stopped smoking I started doing a lot of yoga," she said. "And I just excelled. 'Cause I was putting all of my energy into that. Like I wasn't doing anything else and I was like wow, what if I was doing this with everything?" 

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Randy Robinson
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Based in Denver, Randy studied cannabinoid science while getting a degree in molecular biology at the University of Colorado. When not writing about cannabis, science, politics, or LGBT issues, they can be found exploring nature somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Catch Randy on Twitter and Instagram @randieseljay
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