Oliver Stone. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
By Maria Puente, USA TODAY
The movie-mad blogosphere is buzzed today, no pun intended, over the not-news that director Oliver Stone smoked a lot of pot while enduring two tours in Vietnam, and he thinks it saved his life and saved his sanity.
Stone is talking, again, about his pot use to promote Savages, his Mexican drug-war thriller opening Friday. He's on the August cover of High Times magazine, dedicated to the fine art of getting high, dressed in a tuxedo and smoking a joint. "Oliver Stone: On pot, politics & his new movie Savages," the headline reads. Stone took a copy of the issue on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon two weeks ago.
Stone has never had a problem extolling the benefits of weed, even comparing the high quality of California marijuana to California wines. Days ago, he was on CBS This Morning chatting with Gayle King about the movie and she asked, "What does (marijuana) do for you?" (She said she'd never tried it.)
In Vietnam, where he was wounded and decorated twice, "it made the difference between staying human and becoming a beast," he said. "A lot of people in (his) platoon used it, not on the front lines, but in the back to relax and stay in touch with themselves. I looked on it as a lifesaver at the time. We (who smoked) walked out relatively whole. ..The guys who did dope were more conscious of life."
Known for his leftist politics, Stone also has been frank about his disdain for America's continued war on drugs. "There is a crazy war on drugs in this country that's kind of a farce," he told Fallon. "It hasn't worked. It's really a war for money."
Savages is based on a novel of the same name by Don Winslow and features Blake Lively, Salma Hayek, Benicio del Toro and John Travolta, among others. It's the story of two California pot growers who share a girlfriend (Lively) who is kidnapped; they have to confront the Mexican cartel lead by Hayek's and del Toro's characters to rescue her.