Marijuana is the most commonly used, socially accepted and least expensive recreational drug on the market. Most people don’t go to rehab for smoking weed. It doesn’t normally ruin your life. It helps cancer patients and relaxes the perpetually anxious. It lacks the harmful effects of cigarettes, and is grown naturally. In some states you can carry up to an ounce of the drug on your person without worrying about any consequences worse than a parking ticket.
The stigma surrounding weed has lessened significantly over the past decade. The decriminalization of the drug in the northeastern states of Massachusetts and Connecticut, along with the near legalization in California has made marijuana use even more casual than in the past. Many people believe that we’ll see the nation-wide legalization of the drug in our lifetime.
So when a famous 69-year-old makes an unprompted public statement promising to quit his use of marijuana to focus on being a better father, it’s hard not to laugh at the absurdity of the statement, especially when that father is Sir Paul McCartney. Imagine your grandfather announcing to the family that he’s going to stop toking because he forgot to pick up the grandkids from a play date. According to McCartney, “I smoked my share. When you’re bringing up a youngster, your sense of responsibility does kick in, if you’re lucky, at some point.”
I really hope to have the luxury of not letting my sense of responsibility kick in until my late 60s, too. Although, perhaps the funniest part of his statement is the fact he fathered three other children ranging in ages from 34 to 42 years old. I guess that “sense of responsibility” never kicked in for his other kids, but now that he only has split custody of his 8-year-old daughter Beatrice, I guess he feels the need to get his act together.
Is giving up weed really that much of a sacrifice? Other than his 1980 arrest in Japan, McCartney has never been considered a pothead. I understand the need to set an example, but I seriously doubt Beatrice is gonna overdose on an eight ball of coke simply because poppa smoked a few joints during her childhood. Also, marijuana was never an intrinsic part of McCartney’s image, so why would he stage a public spectacle by telling “Rolling Stone” he’s going to stop lighting up for his kid? Last time I checked he’s not Snoop Dogg.
I’m just speculating here, but it seems as though he quit because he had to. His divorce with Heather Mills wasn’t the most amicable of splits, and illegal drug-use — even marijuana — doesn’t looks good in a court of law. So quitting may not have been a sacrifice, as much as it was a necessity. So after nearly 50 years, starting back to when Bob Dylan handed him a joint in 1964, McCartney claims to have lit up for the final time. His long run ends how most marijuana careers begin — peer pressure.