Kevin Smith: Doctor Says Weed Saved My Life

By Bryan Le 05/07/18

The director spoke about his recent health incident on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."

Film writer/director Kevin Smith and wife Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, a former journalist and actress and director, arrive for the premiere of Live Free or Die Hard.

After suffering a major heart attack in February, Kevin Smith wondered if it was caused by smoking too much pot, but his doctor assured him the case was quite the opposite: all that weed surely saved his life.

The 47-year-old filmmaker revealed the details of the incident as a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

“I asked my doctor like after this was all done, I was like, ‘I hate to ask this question, man, but did I have a heart attack because of the weed?’” Smith recounted. “'Because I smoked a joint right before the show.’ And he goes, ‘No. In fact, quite the opposite. That weed saved your life.’”

Smith has always been open about his love for weed. In the Clerks movies, which he writes and directs, he plays Silent Bob, a pot dealer.

In real life, he collaborated with a dispensary to create a pair of branded marijuana strains as promotional material for his movie, Tusk. The strains, White Walrus and Mr. Tusk, were quite different.

“White Walrus, I’m told, is more mellow and uplifting,” said Graham Retzik, a marketing strategist working for the film. Mr. Tusk is supposedly more intense. “The two are surprisingly complex, in keeping with the spirit of the film.”

The movie stars Justin Long, who plays a podcaster who is slowly turning into a walrus.

Smith was surprised to find out from his doctor that it’s thanks to his love of marijuana that he’s still alive to make more movies.

“He goes, ‘You kept calm. They told you you were having a massive heart attack. I just told you now. They told you were going through stuff and you remained calm the whole time, so that joint saved your life,’” Smith recalled. “I was like, ‘I’m putting that on a T-shirt.’”

The cardiac episode forced Smith to cancel the second of his two stand-up comedy shows in Glendale, California. He was rushed to the hospital after experiencing difficulty breathing.

At the hospital, doctors found that Smith had 100% blockage of his LAD artery and required emergency surgery. While at the hospital, Smith said he felt high during the operation and thought it might be the marijuana he had smoked earlier. It was later confirmed that he had been administered fentanyl by the medical staff.

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter