Hollywood Stars: They quit smoking weed one day, then they get roped back into the 420 lifestyle by Willie Nelson. Just like us! At least, Woody Harrelson’s beloved tale is the unsuccessful smoking cessation anecdote of our dreams. When Shotgun Willie tells you to stop fooling around and get back to being a stoner, you do it. Small wonder that Harrelson is still talking about what happened in interviews, nearly five years after said events.
Now, your first question here may be, “When the hell did Woody Harrelson stop smoking weed?” Friend, you would be well-warranted in your calendar conundrum. The actor, after all, recently got a lifetime achievement award for his cannabis activism, an honor passed down on the eve of the opening of his West Hollywood dispensary The Woods.
The answer would be during 2016, after what Harrelson calls, "thirty solid years of just partying too fucking hard." As he explained in a recent interview with CBS — though the story was news when it first happened, as well — his long-term tolerance break came a few years ago.
"I wanted to be emotionally available," he told CBS, "to my family, to my friends. It was a good experiment."
But do note that experiments aren’t meant to last forever—and endure much less than that if one of the most famous stoners in the commercial music industry is your poker buddy.
"Willie would always act like he didn't know that I quit,” recalls Harrelson. “I'm saying for, like, the fifth time that day, 'I quit, you know?' And he's like, 'Oh, oh.' I win a big hand. He hands it right to me, and I just grab it and I take a big toke, and he goes, 'Welcome home, son!'
You can consider this wild story foreshadowing for Harrelson’s pot-heavy 2022, in which he not only won the Emerald Cup’s Willie Nelson lifetime achievement award for his consistent weed advocacy — but also opened up his own cannabic oasis.
On Friday, May 13, the man hosted the ribbon-cutting ceremony at The Woods, where he and business partners Bill Maher and artist Thomas Schoos are selling everything from flowers to edibles and paraphernalia in a space that looks like the backyard of any Hollywood hippie worth their salt. The site, which was one of the first two cannabis lounges authorized to open in WeHo also offers you the chance to check out its exotic birds, koi pond, Buddha statues, and firepits while renting a private cabana in the “Ganga Giggle Garden.”
Imagine if the world had missed out on all this for the sake of emotional availability!
Harrelson is not the only celebrity who has been dishing to reporters about their variable relationship with weed. Ashton Kutcher went in with Esquire about how a wildly embarrassing edibles experience on a trip to an Italian wedding made him reconsider his trichoma trysts. On a serious note, such tales are a good reminder that all of our relationships with psychoactive substances change over time — and that it’s key to pay attention to what our body is telling us about drugs.
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