Today’s pro-cannabis hollywood actors like Seth Rogan and Woody Harrelson have worn the weed badge with pride for a long time, they can post photos on Instagram puffing weed without censorship and can communicate on Twitter with fans using their influence to demonstrate cannabis isn’t a bad thing.
But there’s a veritable pro-cannabis #Celebrities of Hollywood yesteryear who also loved to get lifted, yet weren’t able to come out of the grow closet so easily, as in 1950 there was CBS, NBC, ABC magazines and terrestrial radio only, media was more conservative and the choices of media channels were few.
One of those celebrities was the longtime marijuana consumer, "James Garner", famous for his role as "Jim Rockford", the private eye in the 1970s hit show "The Rockford Files", who thought pot should be legal and alcohol outlawed. He said:
I've concluded that marijuana should be legal and alcohol should be illegal. But, good luck with that.
James Garner (Apr 7, 1928 – Jul 19, 2014)
James Garner & The Rockford Files
The actor was born "James Scott Bumgarner" on April 7, 1928, in Denver, Oklahoma, and starred in several filmes and television series over more than five decades. A true icon of Hollywood’s Golden Age, he was tall, dark, and handsome, never aloof. His charming good looks and a kindly restrained grace combined to produce the down-to-earth aura that made him a favorite among coworkers and female admirers alike.
His 50-year career included time spent in the military, and as an actor, producer, and artist, ultimately leading to a Purple Heart, nominations for 15 Emmys, 10 Golden Globes, and one Oscar, and the collection of numerous Lifetime Achievement Awards. He was a model of versatility, before he made everyone bawl their eyes out as the older Noah in The Notebook, "James Garner" was the MAN during the 1970’s.
Marijuana was getting pretty mainstream when he starred in "The Rockford Files", the american television drama series that aired on the NBC network between 1974, and 1980. He drank to get drunk but ultimately didn't like the effect. Not so with pot, as it had the opposite effect from alcohol, it made him more tolerant and forgiving, he did a little bit of cocaine in the Eighties, but fortunately he didn't like it.
Early in his career he loved smoking weed during the 1940’s and 1950’s. By the time he did a five-year stint on Maverick, he’d been a cannabis lover for over a decade. He remained discreet about his views on #Marijuana for the majority of his life, but he was vocal about other passions.
As a civil rights advocate, he participated in the 1963 March on Washington for "Jobs and Freedom", and was a longtime self-described, "Bleeding-Heart Liberal", who turned down requests to run for both Congress and Governor of California.
The Garner Files / Garner's Memoir
Like McQueen, Garner was a regular marijuana smoker, but unlike the shorter-lived McQueen, he smoked #Cannabis for 50 years, and credited marijuana with improving his health and well-being immensely, and he also called for legalization in 2011 in his autobiography. The most explosive revelation in his autobiography was that he smoked marijuana for much of his life.
Garner credited marijuana with opening his mind to a lot of things in his youth, and in old age, cannabis soothed his arthritis pain, he wrote in "The Garner Files", his 2011 memoir:
I smoked marijuana for 50 years. I don't know where I'd be without it. It opened my mind to a lot of things, and now it's active ingredient, THC, relaxes me and eases my arthritis pain.
Garner’s coming out as a #Pothead was an important moment, shattering negative stereotypes of the habitual smoker. He maintained a long and distinguished career as a Hollywood star, remaining steadfastly unpretentious as his accolades piled up.
In addition to his time on screen, he raised a family, wrote a memoir, and advocated for progressive causes. All while Lighting Up Regularly. He is one unique example of thousands of recreational users who maintain successful careers and meaningful lives while regularly smoking #Pot.
What's most interesting about him, is how he kept his cannabis habit on the down-low, and how being a regular weed smoker had little impact on an extremely successful film and television career — unless, of course, #Weed is what helped him through it!
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