To go with our weedtastic feature story this week, we've compiled a list of 10 celebrities who've helped raise marijuana awareness and show the ridiculousness of prohibition. Pass the joint and let's kick this mother off:
Bridges, who is getting Oscar buzz for his current role in Crazy Heart, has been a longtime advocate for legalized marijuana. Ironically, though, for his role as the Dude in The Big Lebowski, which made him an icon of potheads everywhere, Bridges has said that he gave up weed while shooting the film, because "I wanted to have a clear head."
Bill "Spaceman" Lee
Back in the '70s, baseball wasn't concerned about steroids -- if there was any substance problem in the bigs, it was methamphetamines, or "greenies". But notorious goofball pitcher Bill Lee liked a different shade of green, once admitting that he not only smoked, but that he liked to sprinkle it on his buckwheat pancakes. It couldn't've hurt; in his best season -- 1973 -- he was 17-11 with a 2.75 ERA for the Red Sox and made the All-Star team. (Ironically enough, the next year he'd lead the league in... wait for it... hits allowed.)
Known for a diversity of roles in productions ranging from Natural Born Killers and Cheers, Woody Harrelson maintains that "we're all addicts," of something. His something just happens to be green and sticky. He's so out about it that some folks have tried to brand him a pot activist, but he maintains he's just honest about his hobbies. "Folks may have a drink...people may want to pop a pill before going to a party - that's not me."
The Canadian singer/songwriter has come out to High Times magazine as a user. "If ever I need some clarity or a quantum leap in terms of writing something," she said, "[weed's] a quick way for me to get to it." Maybe she should've smoked a little more before she wrote "Ironic"?
Michael Phelps' enormous Olympic accomplishment was tarnished a bit when a tabloid uncovered photos of him smoking a bong. He came out with a public apology, saying, "I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment. I'm 23 years old and despite the successes I've had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way." We wish he'd come clean with a less apologetic tone, seeing as how he singlehandedly disproves "Above the Influence" anti-marijuana ads.
It comes as a shock that the man responsible for Clerks and Mallrats smokes up. But when working on Zack and Miri Make a Porno with big-time stoner Seth Rogen, Smith was introduced to the full force of the herb: "Suddenly I had a vice. It takes me places, magical journeys. I swear I've never done more writing than when I've been smoking weed for the last six months."
Despite his sometimes pig-headedness on some issues, we can get support Bill Maher because not only is he a big pothead, he gets in the fight for legalization with both fists swinging. He's called out President Obama for his attitudes towards legalization and spoken publicly many times in support of legalization, calling it "another no-brainer.
How much of a out-and-proud pot head is rebel-country music icon Willie Nelson? After he played a concert at the White House in 1978, Willie accepted President Jimmy Carter's invitation to stay the night and burned down "a fat Austin torpedo" on the White House roof, according to Blender. In 2006, a Louisiana state trooper pulled over his tour bus and found enough dope - more than a pound - to warrant a felony charge for distribution had it been in the possession of a single person. No such luck. A bunch of folks on the bus with Willie said it was a communal stash.
Barack Obama isn't shy about his dabbling with weed as a youngster, which doesn't make him a full-on "pothead," per se -- but for purposes of this list, bear with us. On a 2006 book tour, New Yorker editor David Remnick broached the subject with Obama. The soon-to-be presidential candidate responded with an unapologetic affirmative. "Look, when I was a kid, I inhaled - frequently. That was the point," Obama said to a room full of reporters and editors.