Woody Harrelson’s Weed Hiatus

From slinging beers “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” to slaying zombies in an post-apocalyptic world, Woody Harrelson has proved himself to be one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood time and time again. Harrelson holds quite the resume: film and TV star, playwright, director, musician, and long-time weed activist. 

Woody Harrelson has always been very outspoken about his love for smoking weed, which is why it came as such a shock when the actor announced he quit using cannabis in 2017.


Harrelson, known as one of America’s friendliest stoners, has supported the legalization of cannabis for decades and served on the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). He told Vulture in 2017 that he quit smoking weed after “30 solid years of just partying too f—ing hard.” He says that smoking all the time kept him from being emotionally available and he wanted to be more aware and sensitive to what was going on in his life.

On Jimmy Kimmel Live, when Harrelson was asked about why he quit smoking pot, he said it was an experiment. He looked around the set and made the joke that he had smoked enough pot to fill the entire theater, confirming that he meant with actual pot and not just smoke. Although Woody Harrelson has admitted that giving up weed was tough, he says the hardest part about it was telling good friend and legendary stoner, Willie Nelson. 

Friends for life

Willie Nelson has had a big impact on Woody’s life ever since they met after one of Nelson’s shows. Harrelson knocked on the door of his bus, the door opened, releasing a cloud of billowing smoke where Nelson appeared, joint in hand, asking Harrelson if he wanted to burn one. Harrelson recalls this as the moment he knew they would be lifelong friends.

The rest is history. The two are now so close that Willie Nelson has an entire section of his house designated to Harrelson—”Woody’s Wing.”

Nelson had trouble accepting Harrelson’s choice to abstain from cannabis and would repeatedly pass him joints and vape pens. Everytime Harrelson refused and said that he quit, Nelson would act surprised as if this was news to him. According to Harrelson, “This happened like 500 times.” This resulted in Harrelson pretending to smoke and just holding the joint when it was passed to him by WIllie to avoid the tireless discussion.

Nobody likes a quitter

Harrelson’s almost-2-year-long cannabis hiatus came to an abrupt end when he finally buckled under Willie Nelson’s pot peer pressure. In a 2019 interview with Esquire, the former Cheers actor admitted to smoking weed again on a trip to Hawaii to see WiIllie Nelson after winning a hand in a poker game. Harrelson says “I was in a celebrating mood, so I snatched the pen from him and took a long draw.” 

Nelson’s reaction to the end of Harrelson’s sober streak ? “Welcome home, son.” 

Outsmoking the champ

No doubt that it must be a difficult feat to abstain from smoking pot when you’re friends with country legend and notoriously famous stoner, Willie Nelson. Nelson has been known to smoke everyone under the table and is the only person ever known to out-smoke the blunt master Doggfather himself, Snoop Dogg

In 2008, Nelson agreed to guest on Snoop Dogg’s track “My Medicine” on one condition—it had to be in Amsterdam on 4/20. A perfectly fitting scenario for this dynamic duo, Nelson and Snoop hit up numerous coffee shops, ending their hazy journey stoned at KFC. According to Nelson they had a smoke-off where Snoop “crawled away” which the “Gin and Juice” rapper confirms he had to “hit the time-out button.” Something that has never happened before.

America’s friendliest stoner returns

Ever since WIllie Nelson reunited Woody Harrelson with longtime friend Mary Jane, the actor has resumed his popular title as America’s friendliest stoner. What’s next for Woody? Harrelson joins Kevin Hart, Kaley Cuoco and Ellen Barkin in an upcoming action-comedy, The Man From Toronto, set to be released on August 12, 2022.

What do you think about the iconic friendship between Woody and Willie? Would you be able to turn down a joint passed to you by the legendary country star?

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