Elijah Wood: Marijuana should be decriminalized

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The last time we covered Elijah Wood, he was complaining that he couldn’t even smoke his cigarettes outside like a civilized person, and he pledged to politely refrain when he was asked. That story fueled a mild debate about whether air was “free” and whether smoking outside also impinged on the rights of non-smokers. Well now Elijah has chimed in on the issue of smoking pot. He claims he doesn’t personally smoke pot, but that his “friends” do and it should be decriminalized. I had to look up where Elijah is from, because I kind-of knew he was American but momentarily confused him with his fellow hobbit Dominic Monaghan, who is British. (That’s relevant because pot is decriminalized in England.) Elijah thinks pot should be decriminalized here, too:

Elijah Wood “wishes” he had a higher “tolerance” for marijuana.

The 30-year-old actor can’t understand why the drug is still illegal because he believes it to be “harmless” but admits he rarely uses the substance himself because of the side effects it produces.

He said: “I think the whole notion that marijuana is illegal is past the point of ridiculousness. It seems a little silly to be uptight about something that’s so natural.

“To be honest, I’m not really much of a pot smoker – it never really sat well with me. I’ve got friends that smoke and have smoked for years. I’ve always wished I could achieve that comfort and tolerance, but I have no tolerance for it whatsoever.

“But I’ve always been an advocate. I just feel it should be decriminalized. We’re spending taxpayers’ money on putting people away for something so harmless.”

The ‘Lord of the Rings’ star believes marijuana use is widespread in Hollywood and has become a “normal” part of life.

He told High Times magazine: “It’s gotten to the point where it just seems a natural part of people’s lives. It’s certainly not taboo; I know a number of people who have medical cards. People feel very free talking about it. It doesn’t seem to be hidden or shoved under the carpet. It’s part of people’s lives in a very natural way.”

[From High Times, Bang via CTV.ca]

I guess pot-smoking features heavily in Elijah’s FX series Wilfred, about a guy who interacts with a man in a dog suit who seems like a regular dog to everyone else. So that could explain why he’s commenting on it, or why someone asked him about that issue.

It doesn’t make sense to me that medical marijuana is only legal in certain states while very powerful and potentially more harmful and addictive prescription drugs are available all over the US. I agree that pot should be decriminalized and that it should be more readily available for medical purposes. I live on the East Coast, where we don’t see as much pot use because we can’t get prescriptions for it. I do see people I know getting addicted to Oxycontin though and that ruins lives much more than smoking up.

Elijah is shown on 7/13 at Heathrow airport and on 6/20 at an event. How adorable is he in those glasses? Credit: WENN.com

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63 Responses to “Elijah Wood: Marijuana should be decriminalized”

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  1. Katie says:

    He looks really spacey in most pictures taken of him. I love Elijah, but sometimes I think he’s still struggling to recover from having his face frozen in “terrified shock and awe” in every single scene he shot as Frodo.

    P.S. Is it sad that I really want his belt from the second picture? Haha.

  2. Angelina says:

    I think it should be available for medical reasons only. I believe its very beneficial to people with MS.

  3. Sara says:

    Not only should it be decriminalized, it should be legal and regulated and taxed. There are no longer any valid excuses as to why something that has NEVER killed a single person should be illegal all the while cigs and alcohol two of our biggest killers are freely consumed with no reparations whatsoever. Beyond ridiculous.

  4. Disco says:

    I agree with you completely. I live in Florida…where “pain clinics” are on every corner and anyone can get narcotic RX’s. It just seems ridiculous to me that my mom can’t get a pot script for her cancer.

  5. tapioca says:

    @Sara: Err… I’ll have to disagree with you there. Moderate consumption of and sensible behaviour around alcohol is almost completely non-fatal; alcohol ABUSE & poor decision-making, ie. getting behind the wheel of a car, prove more lethal – it’s the difference between using a chainsaw to trim your hedge or cut your toenails!

    I am in favour of well-regulated medical marijuana for palliative care of cancer/MS, but it still does increase the risk of lung cancer, accidents and mental illness/suicide.

    It also turns the people who use it into epically boring, morose zombies and should be illegal for the sake of stimulating conversation alone!

  6. GiGi says:

    It is actually decriminalized on Federal land here in the US. That’s why people at Burning Man and at other Federal parks/monuments get tickets – much like a parking ticket.

    It doesn’t go on your “record” or anything.

  7. the original bellaluna says:

    YES! Decriminalise it!

    When was the last time you read about a pot-smoker road-rage incident? Or speeding incident? Or abuse incident?

    RX narcotics and booze are MUCH MUCH WORSE.

    FYI, you don’t ONLY have to smoke pot. They have nebulisers, edibles, etc…it doesn’t ALWAYS lead to lung cancer.

    And there are medical applications for monthly cramps (and don’t even – my monthlies are worse than my initial labour pains!); nausea (chemo); HIV/AIDS; chronic pain; and that disease that causes women pain but I can’t remember the name of.

  8. shura_elizabeth says:

    celebitchy –> marijuana isn’t legal in the UK! you can be imprisioned for supply/possession, although normally the sentences are pretty lenient.

  9. Sam says:

    @tapioca- Hmm. I’ve known quite a few people who smoke marijuana and I would never have described them as “epically boring, morose zombies”. They weren’t turned into 15 year old giggling school girls either, which seems to be the other idea a lot of people have. I don’t know, I suppose different people handle their stuff in different ways but I just haven’t seen it.
    As for Marijuana causing cancer, studies have shown that it doesn’t cause cancer. I think people just assume that since cigarettes (a stick packed full of all manner of poisons) cause cancer, smoking marijuana will as well. As for alcohol, I read a story recently claiming that alcohol is more harmful than heroin. Crazy stuff.
    Marijuana and Alcohol both have their benefits if consumed in a responsible way.

  10. Celebitchy says:

    @Shaura, I wrote that marijuana was “decriminalized” in the UK, which is accurate.

  11. theotheryael says:

    @bellaluna – are you thinking of fibromyalgia?

    also, i’m with sara. don’t just decriminalize, legalize it. most of my friends are former heavy pot smokers who now smoke occasionally. i have seen them do far more dangerous and stupid stuff while drinking, then i have EVER seen them do while high.

    not to mention that the government would profit greatly out of it (at least in canada).

  12. Sara says:

    @tapioca:
    I think you may have missed the point as alcohol and cigs are two of the biggest killers in the US per year, that is a fact that can be researched. I never said that people can’t consume alcohol in moderation without it being fatal, I think that is a no brainer. The point was, marijuana does not kill EVER and alcohol and cigs can kill if abused. Alcohol can kill in one night if one drinks way beyond the limit, we have seen it in frat initiations.
    You simply can’t overdose with pot, it is impossible.
    Secondly
    “also turns the people who use it into epically boring, morose zombies and should be illegal for the sake of stimulating conversation alone!”

    This is your opinion and in no way is a valid reason for prohibition.
    On a last note, marijuana does not have to be smoked, so again that reasoning is in no way a valid reason for prohibition.

  13. dread pirate cuervo says:

    Legalize & tax, tax, tax! Even though I do not partake, I can recognize a cash cow that will help reduce our government debts.

  14. stella says:

    I’ll take a mellow stoned out person over a raging, violent drunk any day .

  15. KJ says:

    If you can argue against marijuana using it’s effect on conversation, then the same can be said for booze. Wanna hear a stupid, boring, redundant convo? Walk into any bar. I can talk politics and history with a lot of folks, but gimme a few drinks and before you know it we’ll be talking about how great this Kesha song is and OMG I think I left my ID in the little girls room and no, I promise you, I’m just fine to drive so back off.

    The lazy, forgetful stoner stereotype is just that – a stereotype. Some of the most articulate, well read people I know are huge stoners. As are some of the biggest deadbeats I know. Fact is the negatives of marijuana are nowhere close to the negatives of what’s legal (alcohol and tobacco) as well as what’s illegal and classified as “less dangerous” (Rx pills, schedules 2 and 3 drugs). It makes no sense, morally or scientifically, for weed to be illegal. And it makes even less sense when you consider what is.

  16. John Wayne Lives says:

    @ Dread Pirate Cuervo..ITA

    @ Stella… you said it sister!

  17. xxodettexx says:

    i am with sara, KJ, stella, et al.: dont just decriminalize it, legalize it! i smoke and i know plenty of people that do: some are doctors and attorneys at great companies in the tampa bay area [i even know of a judge, shhh] and a few are “zombies” but i think it has a LOT to do with your natural personality to begin with… if you are lazy, it just accentuates that quality; but for the rest of us high-functioning users, lets just decriminalize it already!

  18. ol cranky says:

    I’m a huge advocate of medical marijuana as it works very well for cancer patients (treats not only pain but is a powerful anti-emetic and increases appetite which are both beneficial to onc patients who often become malnourished); all sorts of other pain conditions (not just MS) and is a very useful and quietly suggested treatment for severe asthma (the degree of asthma that is so bad other chemotherapeutic agents are prescribed to treat).

    That said, like many drugs that are clinically useful, the risk:benefit ratio is not quite so good when it comes to recreational use of the marijuana. It crosses the blood-brain barrier and causes problems with time/spatial perception for period of time after use (sometimes significantly after use) which are often underestimated or less overtly perceptible and this can make it much more dangerous to operate a car than a couple of drinks. Additionally, for women of child bearing potential, marijuana can negatively impact oogenesis leading to chromosomal abnormalities in pregnancies. Women are born with all they’ll ever get (unlike a guy’s sperm, there’s no shooting a bunch out and making fresh new ones) so it can be like playing a reproductive form of russian roulette.

  19. mln76 says:

    LEGALIZE IT YEAH!!
    I don’t smoke haven’t for years but I’d much rather be in a room with a bunch of people who have been smoking than a bunch of drunkards.
    If the government just started taxing weed we would solve alot of our problems with that revenue.

  20. bobbie says:

    @ cranky. Thanks! I never knew that. See, I’m getting educated while not working. :)

  21. It is ME!! says:

    I agree with all of you who said that pot should be legalized and taxed, but my only caveat is that you should get at least 25 years in prison if you drive while high and kill someone. The same should go for those who drink and drive and kill someone. Too many people where I currently live get busted all the time for DUI, and they are on their 5th or 6th DUI!

    Of course, this assumes someone who is high is even motivated to get up off the couch and drive! Rare, indeed.

  22. IAMEROK says:

    “It also turns the people who use it into epically boring, morose zombies and should be illegal for the sake of stimulating conversation alone!” Maybe you should put JMHO in front of a statement like that. I’m sure conversations with you are stagnant at best..

  23. IAMEROK says:

    PS: Stereo-types are for ignorant people..and I know the readers of this site are smart and awesome (for the most part) LAY OFF stereo-typing PLEASE!

  24. Evelyn says:

    I love him, I think he is so adorable. And I think marijuana should be decriminalized, or even legalized. Studies show that people who smoke pot AND cigarettes are less likely to get lung cancer than people who only smoke cigarettes. It help relieve symptoms of MS and glaucoma, it benefits people who can’t eat like anorexics and people going through chemo. And it makes you laugh and have a good time. Like anything, you have to use it responsibly, but I don’t think marijuana is dangerous, or that it should be a schedule one drug, and I don’t think it should be illegal

  25. the original bellaluna says:

    theotheryael – YES! THANK YOU! That’s the name! (And for the life of me, I couldn’t remember it…have another brownie, bellaluna!) ;)

    Yes. Decriminalise, tax it, and let people be!

    (This, this right here, the “less government but only for those of us who can ‘handle’ it” is what got those tea-partiers’ wads in a knot.)

    And, I’m not bragging here, but I am EPICALLY FUNNY when baked!

  26. Mitch Buchanan Rocks says:

    Benzodiazepines like diazepam, clonazapam, alprazolam, triazolam turn people into zombies and causes brain damage. Check out the book Addiction by Precription by Joan Gadsby. Also Marc Emery is in prison for selling seeds and Casey Anthony who did far worse is free.

  27. Nymeria says:

    I read a study about a year ago in which the researchers had to grudgingly conclude that pot actually makes people more careful when they drive – much safer than driving after knocking back “a couple of drinks” (though the effects of alcohol are dependent to a degree on one’s body mass). I wish I could remember the study. Maybe Google “how marijuana affects driving” or something similar?

    As for marijuana potentially damaging a woman’s eggs, well, the eggs belong to that particular woman, and we have no right to restrict her from smoking pot just because it MIGHT damage her eggs. She may not want to have children, anyway.

    Decriminalize it, legalize it, and let people smoke their effing pot.

    ETA: Benzos are the devil! They are HORRIBLE! And they include Xanax (Alprazolam), Klonopin (Clonazepam), Ativan (Lorazepam), Valium (Diazepam), and others. Google them and look at the side effects and the long term effects. They should NEVER be prescribed for more than 2 weeks, and yet they often are prescribed for months, even years, at a time. It is harder to withdraw from a benzo than it is to withdraw from heroin. (And no, I am not making this up.)

  28. Mourning the Death of Music says:

    Just when I thought I couldn’t heart Elijah any harder, he says that. :)

    Watch Penn and Teller’s Bullshit: The War on Drugs.

    I couldn’t agree with them more. Pot should be treated the same as alcohol.

  29. IAMEROK says:

    @Nymeria I know this I was prescribed Lorazapam (Ativan) for anxiety and I stopped taking it when I read up on the side affects and long term affects!! My Dr. said I would be fine and I could barely function..Zombie Indeed! Gimme MJ any day…the doctors during the classical era were not wrong when they used it for all kinds of ailments etc..stupid war on drugs BS..all so the BIG DRUG company stockholders get PAID!!

  30. Chloeee says:

    Sigh, people you CAN be a productive pot sm

  31. Chloeee says:

    Sigh, people you CAN be a productive pot smoker. You don’t necessarily become a zombie, as someone from southern California where the closest dispensary is a mile away, i know tons of people with their cards. Some people I know use it for their anxiety and they can’t hold a conversation until they’ve medicated. So mindless zombies are not applicable there. There are also SO many strains for various needs that not all of them make you lazy and tired.

  32. xxodettexx says:

    can i just say how much i love the conversation going on here?? [and how open and rational a lot of the comments are]… i do agree with “it is ME!” in that those that toke and drive and kill someone should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law… but i would rather those restrictions be put on ALL whole “use” and drive and then kill someone… i mean, agreeing those those talking about people on Benzos, THOSE addicts are the zombies and they tend to have such crazy mood swings [i know, i have a pillhead for a sister and various friends of my boss's wife are hooked on benzos and its crazy what LEGAL drugs do to their personalities!]

  33. the original bellaluna says:

    Chloeee, yes you can. Be wary there, SoCali girl (from another SoCali girl, now in NoCali), San Bernardino and Riverside are trying to reverse the medical MJ stuff. And/or make it so restrictive to patients that patients will (in theory) not drive that far/out of the way to get their meds.

  34. UKHels says:

    it’s not decriminalised in the UK, it was reclassified as a class C drug

    but it certainly should be…

  35. mmf says:

    I love Wilfred. It is hysterical.
    Even got the ole man to enjoy it with me.

  36. Annie_Grey says:

    Marijuana can kill if you’re using and driving.

  37. theotheryael says:

    bellaluna, do you mind if i help myself to one of your brownies ;) .

    also, just noticed a typo in my last post :( . bah.

  38. Kim says:

    Considering pharmaceutical companies have thousands of people LEGALLY addicted, drugged up walking & driving the streets everyday its ridiculous marijuana isnt decriminalized.

    But it should carry same weight as DUI’s if you smoke and drive.

  39. Nymeria says:

    @ Annie_Grey: So can… texting, leaning over to check on a kid’s seatbelt, being sleepy, drinking, crying, reading, talking to a person in the car, talking on a cell phone, speeding, ignoring traffic laws, and ignoring your surroundings. The list goes on.

    Heck, I’m sure that planting geraniums in pots while driving could be deadly. :)

  40. endoplasmic ridiculum says:

    Spare me.

    I’m a lawyer at one of the world’s largest and most ‘reputable’ (hahahaha) law firms.. Some of my colleagues and I regularly smoke in the evenings when our work is done and we wish to relax.

    I can assure you that we regularly out-perform our alcoholic or precription-drug popping colleagues.

    Frankly, this hullaballoo about fighting pot use is a big wank, designed to distract distraught parents while industries like the meat, dairy and telecom industries f**ck families up the backside with their lax health and saftey requirments.

    Pot won’t give you or your child leukemia – but your cellphone, meat, dairy, shampoo and plastic water bottles just might.

  41. Katija says:

    The idea that everyone who smokes pot is a lazy, useless slug is ridiculous. I am a career academic, and I know that most of my professors and fellow PhD candidates smoke it at their get-togethers. And guess what? They still come to work and do their jobs just fine. PS – If your parents are baby boomers, there is a VERY good chance that they went back to smoking on weekends once you left the nest, kids. TRUST ME.

  42. 9 out 10 experts recommend says:

    Elijah Wood should be criminalized.
    But what does he care he looks like he’s on the stuff anyway. Legal status or not.
    I see the US legalizing dope in the future- not to rid of the cartels and dealers, but get their economy out of the toilet. It’s always about $$$$

  43. Ali says:

    @celebitchy – no, what you wrote is not accurate. Please read the article you linked to.

    Why would a Senior Sussex police officer (citation 126: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-13762781) be calling for decriminalising if it was already decriminalised?

    Also in the Wikipedia article, the first line of the UK entry is “Cannabis is illegal in the United Kingdom” now lets look at the Wikipedia article for decriminalisation, “Decriminalisation is the abolition of criminal penalties in relation to certain acts”

    How can something be illegal, but yet have no criminal penalties?

    Fact check much?

  44. ToastedSkin says:

    Every time I see his name in a headline, i automatically smile and get excited like a 14 year old fangirl.
    I love Elijah & I love Wilfred, it’s a hilarious show.

  45. Sugar says:

    NOOOOOOOOOO

    I am highly allergic to marijuana smoke… and I live in LA. It is torture. This whole city smells like pot.

    Ugh.. I’m getting all itchy just thinking about it.

  46. SolitaryAngel says:

    I’ve never tried marijuana because just smelling the smoke gives me severe headaches, and I also have breathing issues so even though I have sometimes wanted to try it, I just can’t. I was steadfastedly against it just because I thought it was a bad drug but now in my adult maturity I see that it should be decriminalized. It does so much good for sick people and it IS a naturally-occurring plant, so WHY NOT? Added to that is my thought that if it was legal everywhere, the world would be a much more mellow place and the economy of fast-food restaurants would go up! See? Good all around! LOL

  47. Net says:

    I dont get the whole pot issue except for the government wants their mitts in it but hasnt figured out how unless its for “medicinal purposes.” We allow alcohol-which kills how may people a year? We allow cigs which kill how many people a year? Mix the above with a legal highly addictive naroctic and stir well and you get Jani Lane and a whole hose of others. When is the last time you heard of a stoner killing an innocent on the road? Whens the last time you heard of one getting lung cancer. Yep thought so. Just legalize it and move on. shit! And for the stereotypical pothead comments..drunks are pretty sloppy – and beligerant on top of that..there is a time and place for everything..work or while out and about is not. There will always be some asshole that abuses the priviledge..

  48. Mary says:

    The difference between him and Daniel Ratcliff ARE ??????

  49. Annie_Grey says:

    Nymeria-so you think it’s ok to drink alcohol and drive?

  50. kim says:

    I hear what everyone is saying but I broke up with my boyfriend over his pot use. He was a great, healthy, active fun loving guy. He started smoking MJ and honestly, I didn’t really care. But then he became lazy, didn’t want to go out. He would spend hours and hours getting high and that’s all he wanted to do. I missed hiking, dancing and all the fun things we used to do together.

    To make matters worse, he started to lose my favorite thing about him, his smart back-biting wit and quick comebacks. 4 months and 50 lbs. later, I was done.

  51. ejv says:

    I knew I liked him…BTW the smoking of marijuana has never been proven to lead to lung cancer. The govt is inept on this issue and many others concerning drugs to help people with chronic illnesses. I have chronic neuropathic pain from auto immune diseases and MS, I live in a state where pot is not legalized,unfortunately…no FDA approved drugs are strong enough, last long enough or are even effective for me to be pain free and live a “normal” and full quality of life. BTW I’m 27 years old. Pot makes me pain free and allows me to work when other FDA approved medications do not. I don’t have to smoke it, there are other means of ingesting it.How is this ethically ok? The FDA is in the pocket of the pharmacidical companies…the pot dispensaries & legal growers are still being busted Federally by the DEA. It’s about power, not about what is right and what is wrong. So how can we move forward? For more information on this subject http://www.norml.com is a great site about marijuana reform. More women need to be involved in the reform of marijuana laws.

  52. Nymeria says:

    @ Annie_Grey – Good heavens, no! No, I do not think it is remotely okay to drink alcohol and drive. Looking back, I realise my comment was quite murky in conveying this sentiment.

    Look, none of the things I mentioned in that litany are safe to do while driving (and some are illegal) – yet outside of driving, they are all legal. My point – which, as I have admitted, I should have made clear – is that pot is illegal, which is stupid given how dangerous other legal substances are.

  53. Nymeria says:

    Well, all are legal except for speeding and ignoring traffic laws. :)

  54. Moonbeamz says:

    Smoking pot won’t kill you but smoke it for long enough and you will go crazy…. It leads you to psychosis, just like meth but it takes longer. In some people it makes them go nuts very quickly. I work in mental health and pot is the one common denominator.

  55. Sara says:

    @Moonbeamz

    That is ridiculous. Pot DOES NOT cause mental illness. Show me your research please. What does happen is people with mental illness start out by self medicating with all types of different substances before they even know they have a mental illness. It is not a cause and no research to prove it does.

  56. john says:

    Pot is NOT decriminalized in the UK, get your facts straight.

  57. Joe says:

    Pot isn’t decriminalized in the UK, it’s a class B drug which is stupid. A 17 yr old kid could potentially be sent to prison for 5 years for possessing the smallest amount of cannabis.