Savages’ Boss Oliver Stone Knows Good Weed

Jul 8, 2012

Oliver Stone has smoked great mar­i­juana all over the world, from Viet­nam and Thai­land to Jamaica and South Sudan. But the film­maker says the best weed is made in the USA and that pot could be a huge growth indus­try for tax­pay­ers if it were legal­ized. Stone, whose drug-war thriller “Sav­ages” opens Fri­day, has been a reg­u­lar toker since his days as an infantry­man in Viet­nam in the late 1960s and knows a good herb when he inhales one. He insisted in a recent inter­view that no one is pro­duc­ing bet­ter stuff now than U.S. grow­ers. “There’s good weed every­where in the world, but my God, these Amer­i­cans are bril­liant,” said Stone, 65, who sees only ben­e­fits from legal­iz­ing mar­i­juana. “It can be done. It can be done legally, safely, healthy, and it can be taxed and the gov­ern­ment can pay for edu­ca­tion and stuff like that. Also, you can save a for­tune by not putting kids in jail.” Stone is known for mix­ing polemics and drama in films such as “JFK,” ”Born on the Fourth of July,” ”Wall Street” and “Nixon,” his saga of the pres­i­dent who declared the war on drugs 40 years ago. Yet “Sav­ages” may be closer to a pure thrill ride than any­thing he’s done, the action com­ing with­out much in the way of preach­ing for legal­iza­tion. Still, the film offers a fic­tional por­trait of vio­lence among a Mex­i­can drug car­tel and Cal­i­for­nia pot grow­ers that makes legal­iz­ing mar­i­juana seem like a sane option. “That would be my per­sonal solu­tion, but as a politi­cian, I would fight for decrim­i­nal­iza­tion first, because that is the imme­di­ate by-product of this mess that we got our­selves into. It’s very hard to pull out of a $40 billion-a-year indus­try, which is the prison indus­try. It’s prob­a­bly more than $40 bil­lion. But they will fight you tooth and nail to keep these pris­ons as big as they are,” Stone said. “It’s worse than slav­ery, per capita. In the black com­mu­nity, it is a form of slav­ery, this drug war, because it impris­ons a huge por­tion of peo­ple, destroys their lives, coarsens our cul­ture. And why? Mar­i­juana is much less harm­ful than tobacco and pre­scrip­tion drugs in many cases and cer­tainly alco­hol. This puri­tan­i­cal strain got started with Nixon. It was a polit­i­cal issue for him, and it’s got­ten worse. It’s like the Pen­ta­gon. You can’t stop it.” “Sav­ages” co-star Salma Hayek had some wor­ries that the film could have become a ser­mon in favor of drug legal­iza­tion. She was glad the film wound up stick­ing to a good story and gen­er­ally keep­ing pol­i­tics out of it, even though she agrees that legal­iza­tion makes sense for mar­i­juana, at least. “Yeah, mar­i­juana, if it’s legal­ized and con­trolled,” Hayek said. “Some of the other drugs that are on the mar­ket are really, really dan­ger­ous. The legal drugs. That your doc­tor can pre­scribe. And they can kill you with it slowly.” Hayek plays the mer­ci­less boss of a Mex­i­can car­tel aim­ing to seize con­trol of a Cal­i­for­nia pot oper­a­tion whose lead­ers (Aaron John­son and Tay­lor Kitsch) grow the best mar­i­juana on the planet. The film co-stars Beni­cio Del Toro as Hayek’s bru­tal lieu­tenant, John Tra­volta as a cor­rupt Drug Enforce­ment Agency cop and Blake Lively as John­son and Kitsch’s shared lover, whose kid­nap­ping puts the two sides at war. Stone, who has two Acad­emy Awards as best direc­tor for 1989′s “Born on the Fourth of July” and 1986′s “Pla­toon” (the lat­ter also won best pic­ture), has had a fit­ful career since the mid-1990s, with crit­i­cal bombs such as “Alexan­der” and mod­est box-office results for “W.”, “World Trade Cen­ter” and “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” With gor­geous South­ern Cal­i­for­nia scenery, wicked humor and relent­less action, “Sav­ages” may have more com­mer­cial appeal than any­thing Stone has done in decades. While the film itself doesn’t preach, it has given Stone a soap­box to play devil’s advo­cate, even land­ing him on the cover of the mar­i­juana mag­a­zine High Times, smok­ing a joint. “He’s Oliver Stone for a rea­son. There’s no fil­ter, and he is who he is, and I admire that,” said “Sav­ages” star Kitsch. “At the end of the day, who you’re going to be fac­ing is your­self. If you can stay true to that — and I tell you, this busi­ness tests every minute of it — I love that. I love to see some­one that is like, ‘Look, this (exple­tive) movie is what I’ve done. Take it or leave it.’ It’s an admirable qual­ity, espe­cially in this busi­ness.” Stone con­sid­ers his pot use part of a healthy reg­i­men. “It doesn’t hurt me,” he said. “As you can see, I’m still func­tion­ing at my age. My mind feels good. I may not be the bright­est rocket in the room, but I cer­tainly feel like I’m com­pe­tent.” Source: Asso­ci­ated Press (Wire) Author: David Ger­main, The Asso­ci­ated Press Pub­lished: July 5, 2012 Copy­right: 2012 The Asso­ci­ated Press

507b56c7a5one 02.jpg 150x100 ‘Savages’ Boss Oliver Stone Knows Good Weed

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‘Sav­ages’ Boss Oliver Stone Knows Good Weed

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