He was no stranger to cannabis. The great comedian was, for lack of a better word,Blunt. In an interview with “High Times” in 1997, he said of cannabis that he would sometimes take “A hit from time to time.” He was one of the most important and influential American stand-up comics of all time. His irreverent humor and sarcasm touched on many political topics and he was unafraid to broach even the most controversial issues with ease.
Aside from his role in comedy, he was author, free thinker, and social critic. He was known for his black comedy and reflections on politics, psychology, religion, and various taboo subjects. One of his most famous routines revolved around the “Seven Dirty Words” you can’t say on television, which famously earned him an obscenity charge in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1972.
He had a long and storied relationship withMarijuana. Growing up in New York, he found that it was easily procured on the street and thus, he started smoking at a young age. In a famous interview with “Playboy”, he shared his first experiences with cannabis:
In my neighborhood there were only Smack and Marijuana. I was 13, some friends and I were using marijuana regularly…Heroin, forget it.
He went to “The Bronx” for high school but, after three semesters, he dropped out of school and joined the “Air Force”, and trained as a radar technician. He was court many times, once for smoking aJoint and crawling into a B-47, where he promptly fell asleep just a year after joining and he was kicked out in 1955.
His album “Toledo Window Box” was recorded on July 20, 1974 at the “Paramount Theater” in Oakland, the front cover features him wearing a white T-shirt with a planter growing marijuana plants, pointing his thumbs back at it, while the back cover shows him wearing almost the same shirt but with the plants gone, while standing there red-eyed and looking high.
“Toledo Window Box” is a type of marijuana that Carlin said: “That a man once offered him - an antithesis to pot names like ‘Acapulco Gold’ and ‘Colombian Red’”. This was his fourth and final gold album.
I could never understand the question. I mean, I’d been high since eight that morning. Going onstage had nothing to do with it. The ritual was very important to me: cleaning the pot, rolling the pot—I was never a pipe or bong man.
He made no compunctions about smokingGrass, as he called it, and even credited it with saving him from alcoholism and his eventual cocaine addiction. During the 1970s, he abused cocaine daily on the road performing stand-up, and it caught up with him.
After he had the first of three “Heart Attacks” (1978, 1982, and 1991), he stopped cocaine but he did not quit smoking grass and he always had a joint somewhere near him. Carlin died on June 22, 2008 at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, of heart failure at age 71.
“In Accordance” with his wishes his body was cremated, and the ashes were scattered in front of various nightclubs he played in New York City and over Spofford Lake, in Chesterfield, New Hampshire, where he attended summer camp as an adolescent. Rest in peace, I will never forget “Carlin’s Words” :
Pot opens windows and doors that you may not be able to get through any other way. Pot saved me from being an alcoholic and a complete fucking brainless idiot. Pot does, and thank goodness for that.