In a recent interview with The Daily Beast, Morgan Freeman spoke openly about his advocacy for the legalization of marijuana and his personal relationship with the drug—feelings you could almost label romantic. Ever since 2008, when Freeman’s 1997 Nissan Maxima skidded off the road and caused a near-fatal accident, he has been struggling with debilitating pain in his left arm. He claims that pot—in any form he can get it—is the only thing that helps him feel better. What I need to know is how I am supposed to feel better after learning that Morgan freaking Freeman was driving a 1997 Nissan Maxima in 2008?
Is Something Rotten in Memphis?
I am happy to know that the beloved actor behind haunting voice of The Shawshank Redemption has found relief in from his physical ailments in marijuana. But am I the only one who is wondering if Mr. Freeman might have accidently drove Ms. Daisy off a Memphis road because he was high? I hate to be a skeptic but if Freeman had given this exact same interview but pointed to whiskey as a something he loved instead of weed, would everyone be so supportive? At the very least, we would have assumed he was good and drunk when he decided to buy a 1997 Nissan Maxima (okay, I’ll stop).
Pulling a Lance Armstrong
While I wouldn’t say I am a lobbyist for the legalization of marijuana—mainly for the same reasons I am not an activist for men’s rights—I am certainly not against it. But it always kind of bums me out when I find out that someone whose career I admire is a stoner. Of course, the world at large doesn’t feel that way; when The Daily Beast interview was picked up in HuffPo, comments like “Amen, Mr. Morgan” and “Couldn’t agree more” populated the page. But pothead actors make me feel like they are cheating—using performance enhancing substances in order to navigate the painful waters of show business with their secret weapon: drugs! Is there any hope for a sober gal like me to live a big, impressive life?
Four 20, Bro
Of course, that is my alcoholism talking—the negative, critical, you-will-never-have-what-the-others-have voice in my head that tells me that the only people who make it in Hollywood aren’t sober. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of examples to back up that paranoia—Bill Gates, Bill Maher and Jay-Z are just a few of the highly successful people who openly admit to getting high. And for some reason, it has become increasingly socially acceptable to do so—much, much more than it is to admit to enjoy legal drinking, even though the effects of alcohol can actually be moderated (something which isn’t often true when it comes to getting high).
Compare and Despair
But even the growing judgment of boozers hasn’t stopped certain celebs from admitting to their love affair with the hooch—Chelsea Handler, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Blake Shelton and his wife Miranda Lambert are some of the Hollywood elite who not only love to drink hard but also happen to be on the top of their game career-wise. So it can sometimes be a source of discouragement for me when I see certain people in my line of work throwing ‘em back and soaring ahead while I sit in a 12-step meeting, drinking crappy coffee and wondering how I ended up in a church basement at 7:30 am.
Then I remember that there are just as many successful sober people, many of whom are open about it—Russell Brand, Craig Ferguson, Robert Downey Jr., to name a few—so it just goes to show you how a brain with the right amount of illness can create a warped perception of reality and impact your feelings about your own life. I mean, jeez, this piece was supposed about Morgan Freeman’s love of weed and instead I made it all about me. Typical alcoholism, am I right?