Oliver Stone Says Marijuana "Humanized" Him

By McCarton Ackerman 07/03/12

The film giant says pot helped him avoid "beastly" behavior during his time in Vietnam.

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Oliver stoned in Vietnam?
Photo via

Filmmaker Oliver Stone is taking yet another potentially controversial stance, this time in full support of marijuana. On the eve of his latest flick Savages being released, the two-time Oscar winning director and producer graced the cover of the most recent issue of High Times magazine—and in an interview, speaks about his own marijuana use and how it helped him through serving in the Vietnam War, where he was twice wounded. "When I was in Vietnam, [pot] made the difference between being human and being a beast," he said in an interview with CBS This Morning. "There were a lot of guys who were drinking and doing a lot of the killing that was so unnecessary and raping. The guys who did dope were much more conscious of the value of life." His film Savages—featuring a star-studded cast including Salma Hayek and John Travolta—tells the story of two marijuana growers who share a friend that is kidnapped, forcing them to confront a Mexican drug cartel in order to rescue her. Stone even headed to Mexico to do research for the film where he says he met a few prominent figures in the drug underworld. "Benicio (Del Toro) and I hung out with some pretty heavy people on the other side of the border," he says. "Don Winslow knows that world because he's written other books about the subject." Stone has been known to raise some eyebrows—he directed a sympathetic Fidel Castro in the 2003 movie Comandante and portrayed a far less-sympathetic former President George W. Bush in W.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.