Woody Harrelson wants you to know that he is not stoned.
Indeed, the beloved actor, who has forged a career as Hollywood’s outsider slacker of choice, hasn’t been high for more than a year.
That’s how long the world’s most famous fictional barman has been off the weed, according to an interview with The Vulture, despite conducting the chat while laying down on a king-size bed, “stretching his legs by grabbing his shoeless feet” and speaking “in between long pauses, stretching his words like taffy and squinting his eyes to ponder each point.”
Harrelson will be back on cinema screens soon in Craig Johnson’s comic adaptation Wilson, in which he plays the title character—a socially awkward malcontent given to discussing the universe with strangers.
Asked by interviewer Abraham Riesman what “misconceptions” people might have about him, Harrelson replied, “They think I’m a party animal. I am a party animal. I mean, that might be one thing. But on the other hand, I’m now extremely moderate and I actually stopped smoking pot almost a year ago.”
Riesman congratulates the actor and shares that he is also “in the process of trying to quit” because it “messes with my head and makes me less productive.”
Harrelson replies: “Yeah, that was a little bit of my issue. Thirty solid years of just partying too fucking hard.”
Asked what he does to “keep from relapsing,” Harrelson replies: “Well, like, last night, someone had—not just good herb but sativa; really good sativa. There’s a joint, and beautifully rolled. (But) I’ve gone this long. It would be weird to just be like, “OK, let me have a hit off that,” and then suddenly go back to smoking too much.”
Harrelson makes it clear that he has no ideological objection to the drug per se, saying, “I don’t have a problem at all with smoking. I think it’s great. I think it’s a great drug. Even cops say that the side effect is euphoria.
“But when you’re doing it all the time, it just becomes, well, you know. I feel like it was keeping me from being emotionally available.”
Harrelson adds that while he still drinks, “I try to be moderate with the drinking, too.”
Of course, astute observers of Harrelson’s weed-smoking career will note that we have been here before.
He outed himself as a active pot smoker at the Seattle Hempfest in 2001, telling the large crowd, “I recently decided to stop smoking, but I thought more about it and decided I didn’t want to be a quitter!”
In 1996, the same year he was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of the eponymous Hustler publisher in The People vs. Larry Flynt, Harrelson was arrested in Kentucky for planting hemp seeds.