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Woody Harrelson Tried To Hide Marijuana Abstinence From Willie Nelson

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Woody Harrelson made headlines when he announced earlier this year that he quit smoking marijuana.

Now, in a new interview, the Oscar-nominated actor says it was difficult to share the decision with his cannabis enthusiast friend Willie Nelson.

“That was a very hard one to break,” he said in an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Friday. “At first, I’m like pretending [to smoke a joint]. I’m just holding it because I don’t want him to know and then finally I’m like, ‘Willie, I quit.'”

But it has apparently taken Nelson some time to come to terms with the change.

“And still it never fails, the joint comes around and he passes it to me,” Harrelson said. “He keeps waiting for me to smoke again.”

Harrelson previously discussed his cannabis abstinence and his friendship with Nelson in an appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

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Bill Nye Likes Legalization, But Not Marijuana

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The Science Guy is down with legalizing marijuana, but he doesn’t consume cannabis himself.

“I lived in Washington State for a long time, and Washington State legalized it in 2012. We legalized marijuana, we tax it,” Bill Nye said in a interview published this week by NowThis. “We have a lot of tax revenue. It’s no longer criminalized. We don’t spend money on the police department. We spend money regulating the industry in the same way we regulate other substances.”

But even though he recognizes legalization’s benefits, don’t mistake Nye for a cannabis connoisseur.

“I don’t like the smell. I just don’t like it,” he said. “One time in college I tried it, and I’m not good at smoking. I didn’t put in the hours to get good at smoking.”

In Nye’s eyes, marijuana use can have negative effects.

“When I played ultimate frisbee very seriously, these guys I would play with would get high and they sucked when they were high,” he said.

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want the government to loosen its grip on cannabis.

“What’s happened with marijuana is it’s a Schedule I drug, which means it’s presumed to be addictive and it’s presumed to have no medical value. Yet people are using it for all these medical applications,” he said. “So well, let’s study it. Well, you’re not allowed to study it because it’s a Schedule I drug… So that has to be sorted out.”

In touting the benefits of legalization, the science guy is in alignment with the late Carl Sagan, under whom Nye studied astronomy at Cornell University.

Fellow Sagan protégé Neil deGrasse Tyson also recently endorsed legalization in response to a question from a Marijuana Moment journalist.

Neil deGrasse Tyson Backs Legalizing Marijuana

Featured image screengrab courtesy of NowThis.

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Woody Harrelson Smoked Marijuana During Dinner With Trump

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Woody Harrelson doesn’t smoke marijuana anymore, but in a new interview he revealed that he once used cannabis to get through a dinner with Donald Trump.

“It was brutal. I’d never met a more narcissistic man,” Harrelson said during an appearance on Bill Maher’s HBO show on Friday night. “He talked about himself the whole time. I had to walk out like halfway through [and] smoke a joint just to like steel myself for the rest of the dinner.”

The actor attended the dinner, in 2002, at the behest of then-Gov. Jesse Ventura of Minnesota. Trump was, at the time, considering a run for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination and was trying to court Ventura to commit to run on a ticket with him, Harrelson said.

Harrelson, a former cannabis enthusiast, announced earlier this year that he quit smoking marijuana.

In an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s ABC show last week he said that he at first tried to hide his abstinence from Willie Nelson, who he thought would be disappointed.

Maher, who himself is a well-known marijuana consumer, gave Harrelson somewhat of a hard time during the new interview about his giving up toking.

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Bad Cannabis Headlines Dangerously Misinform Readers

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Marijuana laws are changing rapidly these days, so much so that even specialized news organizations solely dedicated to tracking cannabis policy sometimes have a hard time making sense of reforms.

Coverage this week by The Cannabist and Marijuana Business Daily provides a perfect example.

After California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoed legislation that would have enacted new crimes prohibiting smoking or vaping tobacco and other substances on state coastal beaches and in state parks, the two news organizations reported the news with inaccurate headlines that could influence some readers to unknowingly break the law.

“California governor OKs marijuana use at beaches, state parks,” Marijuana Business Daily reported.

“Californians can smoke and vape weed in parks, on beaches, decides gov,” read The Cannabist’s headline of an Associated Press story.

While the reach of the legislation Brown vetoed did extend to cannabis as well as tobacco (“lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, whether natural or synthetic, in any manner or in any form”), the fact is that public marijuana consumption is not currently permitted in California.

Brown’s veto of the proposed bills does not change that.

California marijuana policy experts say that the false headlines in Marijuana Business Daily and in The Cannabist, which is owned by The Denver Post, could have dangerous consequences.

“The harm is that people will smoke or ingest cannabis in state beaches and parks, thinking that the governor gave the go-ahead to such public ingestions by vetoing those proposed bills,” Omar Figueroa, an attorney who handles cannabis cases, told Marijuana Moment in an interview. “Mistake of law is no defense.”

Brown, who vetoed similar legislation last year, said in a statement that the proposals were too broad. “If people can’t smoke on a deserted beach, where can they? There must be some limit to the coercive power of government.”

As it stands, with his veto, people can still smoke or vaporize tobacco on those shorefronts, subject to individual beach policies and local codes. But as was the case before, and despite the inaccurate headlines in some outlets, they still can’t consume cannabis there.

That said, marijuana reform advocates were nonetheless relieved that Brown vetoed the bills.

“If smoking were banned on beaches statewide, we would likely see increased enforcement, which would result in more cannabis consumers, including medical patients, cited for public consumption,” Ellen Komp of California NORML told Marijuana Moment.

Dale Gieringer, also of California NORML, agreed that the legislation would’ve put marijuana consumers at greater risk. “By flagging all smoking (and vaporization) as illegal, it would have increased the likelihood of citation for [cannabis] users, who can otherwise avoid detection by discreetly acting like tobacco smokers,” he said, adding that the fines they could face would also have increased.

Alex Pasquariello, editor of The Cannabist, declined to comment for this story, citing the fact that the organization’s post consisted of an Associated Press story. He did not reply to a follow-up question specifically about the headline his organization chose for the story or its image caption reading, “Californians will be allowed to smoke weed on beaches, due to a veto by Governor Jerry Brown of a bill that would have banned the behavior.”

Chris Walsh, the vice president for editorial & strategic development at Marijuana Business Daily, also said that his organization’s story was largely comprised of Associated Press content. But he did acknowledge that his team erred in framing the story.

“Our editorial team has taken another look at it and we agree that the headline and brief need to be reframed and clarified,” he said. “The piece itself was mostly from the Associated Press, but we are looking into it now to get some additional information so we can clarify as needed. We realize now that the headline could be interpreted differently than intended and we will modify accordingly.

This story was updated to include reaction from Marijuana Business Daily and California NORML.

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