Back in ‘03 and ‘04 I was working at a convenience store near the university, selling beer, cigarettes, and blunt wraps to college students, and anyone else living or working near the school. One day, people started coming into the store, saying:
“Hey, I just saw Woody Harrelson.”
“Yeah, he’s just hanging out down by the Bijou Theater in his bus.”
After a little while, someone else came in saying, “Dude, I just smoked weed with Woody Harrelson.”
“Seriously? What was he like?”
“He was pretty cool.”
“Can I get pack of Swisher’s and a blueberry blunt wrap?”
“Yeah, that’s, uhh…. $4.28.”
Anyone who pays attention to this sort of thing knows Woody Harrelson makes no secret about the fact that he smokes the herb. He’s well known to be enthusiastically in favor of the legalization of cannabis and hemp, and has served as a member of the advisory board for NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) since 2003.
Here’s maybe the coolest thing: Harrelson was intentionally arrested for hemp activism in Lee County, Kentucky in 1996, after he ceremoniously planted four hemp seeds in Kentucky soil. He engaged in this activism on behalf of Kentucky farmers, and the purpose of his admirable performance was to call attention to a state law that did not distinguish between marijuana and hemp. As many of us know, industrial hemp has almost none of the psychoactive properties of marijuana, and has been and can be used to make clothing, fabric, food, fuel, and a number of other beneficial products. Harrelson called the Lee County sheriff to let him know what would be happening, showed up with his lawyer and his hemp seeds, and a camera crew from CNN captured the whole thing. Harrelson planted the hemp seeds, the sheriff arrested him, and he was booked in the county jail then released the same day after posting $200 bail. He was charged with cultivating marijuana, but with his attorney’s help, within a very short time he was acquitted of the charges.
Harrelson is also a well-known environmental activist. In 2003, he travelled around the west coast on a bike, caravanning with a hemp-oil-fueled, bio-diesel bus as the subject of a documentary called Go Further to help raise awareness of simple organic living. It is well worth watching. I’m guessing a Go Further promotional tour was the reason he was parked down the street from the market that day, next to the independent movie theater that is housed in a former mortuary (The Bijou Art Cinema in Eugene is a great place to see a movie).
In conclusion, decades of hemp and marijuana activism, environmental activism, exceptional skills as a dramatic and comedic actor, and a willingness to smoke weed with random fans, all qualify Mr. Harrelson to be counted among the World’s Greatest Stoners.
Video of the hemp seed planting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKyxhp5dp7s