When Kevin Smith records his podcast, Smodcast, he says, "I'm usually blazed." Which, if you've heard the episode where Smith comes up with the entire story for his new film, "Tusk," it should come as no surprise.
The film is about a man who takes another man hostage and turns him into a walrus. While the movie itself doesn't mention or include any weed, Smith thought medical marijuana would be a nice complement to the viewing experience.
A24, the film distribution company, came to Smith with a marketing idea: create strains of weed for the film. Smith thought it was genius. Buds and Roses — a cannabis dispensary in Studio City — was approached by Smith and his team to make medical marijuana specifically for the film. The dispensary came up with two strains called "Mr. Tusk" and "White Walrus."
We met up with the director at Buds and Roses to see why the green substance was a perfect pairing for the film:
Smith knows that some people enjoy going to the movies stoned:
"This movie, out of all movies, seems like a real head trip of a flick. So if they have their medical marijuana card, by all means, enjoy the movie. Don't feel the need to go back if you don't remember anything. It's not a gimmick to make them go twice or anything. But in a world where people are gonna smoke medicinal marijuana, having a 'Tusk' sticker on there just makes me smile. Kind of makes sense for this movie."
How Fleetwood Mac and weed helped his writing:
"I put on Fleetwood Mac's 'Tusk' over and over on repeat and would just sit there and blaze while I wrote. And you know, I blaze in the way that I used to smoke cigarettes. So, I'll light it and put it in an ashtray, let it burn and stuff. So it fills the room like incense if you will. But, yeah, for a movie like 'Tusk,' I guess you gotta be pretty stoned to make the guy-who-makes-a-guy-into-a-walrus movie. And I'm kinda glad I did. It's weird. People are calling it the best movie I've ever made and I was like, 'Well, this is the only one I made stoned.' So I'm like, 'Guess what I'm doing, kids!'"
Smith used to be against drugs:
"I smoked weed in my life, but I would never consider myself a stoner. In fact, I still had the '80s [attitude] lingering, 'Just say no,' and, you know, 'Oh my lord! It's a drug!' It wasn't until I became older — age 38 — when I started smoking weed on a regular basis. I was like, 'This is not a drug. This is ridiculous! It grows in the Earth.' So once I got past the bias that was pounded into us in the '80s, suddenly I was like, 'Heavens. I like who I am here.' It doesn't make you a better person, kids. It doesn't make you more creative. What it does is it kind of knocks fear on its ass. You face your fears a little better."
Disclaimer: Smith wants you to know that he does not endorse marijuana for anyone under 21:
"Kids, teenagers... I'm talking to you. The teenage brain is stunted by marijuana smoking so you guys have to wait 'til you're older. I didn't start smoking 'til I was 38 years old. I'm not saying wait 'til then. That was a stupid mistake on my behalf. But wait until you're legit. Wait until you're 21 before you start smoking."