Paul McCartney Says Parenthood Convinced Him to Give Up Pot

By McCarton Ackerman 06/02/15

McCartney was the first Beatle to experiment with weed.

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Paul McCartney has been a supporter of marijuana decriminalization and was reportedly the first Beatle who turned the rest of the band onto marijuana, but the music legend said that being a father and grandfather has convinced him to put away pot for good.

Speaking with the Daily Mirror, the 72-year-old said Bob Dylan gave him his first taste of the drug in 1964 and the Beatle credited marijuana with helping his songwriting process. He explained that he gave up marijuana in order to set a better example for his children and grandchildren, but McCartney isn’t exactly a teetotaler these days either.

"Back then I was just some guy around London having a ball, and the kids were little so I'd just try and keep it out of their faces,” he said. “Instead of smoking a spliff, I'll now have a glass of red wine or a nice margarita. The last time I smoked was a long time ago."

McCartney first announced his plans to quit smoking marijuana in a February 2012 interview with Rolling Stone. He said that raising his now 11-year-old daughter, Beatrice, created a “sense of responsibility” and that he “just [didn’t] seem to think it’s necessary.”

Throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, McCartney had numerous run-ins with the law for his former marijuana use. He was arrested twice for cannabis possession in 1972 and deported from Japan in 1980 when officials a half-pound of pot in his luggage. In 1984, he and his first wife Linda were arrested after buying marijuana on a beach in Barbados. He has also admitted to regularly using cocaine and experimenting with heroin.

His son, 37-year-old James, has waged his own battle with drugs. He entered an Arizona rehab for addictions to marijuana, alcohol, and ketamine at the end of 2012, but has since remained clean and sober.

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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.

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