Thursday, August 20, 2009

Brad Pitt Is The King of the Potheads But You Didn't Hear It From Me

Its been an open secret for a long time that Brad Pitt is the reigning champ of the Hollywood pot-heads. Many people have seen Pitt getting baked at parties, in hotel rooms, his trailer, beaches, elevators, public transportation, parks, sidewalks, cafes, bars, sandwich shops, Pink's Hotdog Stand, cinema foyers, planetariums, ceramics warehouses, farmers' markets, outdoor Scrabble tournaments, pool halls, and, presumably, the comfort of his own home after a long day's work. Pitt's commitment to marijuana is legendary: he buys ornamental bongs for his friends, he used to take buddies to Craig Z. Rudin's smoke shop 2000 BC on Melrose Avenue and sometimes he'd get so wasted the poor love would forget to button his shirt (right). Of course Pitt could never seriously compete with the all time king of the Hollywood stoners Robert Altman who may have single handedly kept Jamaica's economy going through the dark days of the 1970's, but after Altman's sad passing and Woody Harrelson's odd disappearance from the Hollywood scene Brad Pitt has had no other true contender in the lists.
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As of last week this "open secret" is secret no more. On Friday's Bill Maher HBO show Real Time, Pitt admitted his "past" pot use and Maher mentioned how he had been at a party once and watched Pitt's amazing reefer rolling skills with a profound sense of awe.
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I was annoyed about this for one reason and one reason only. We'll get to that reason in a minute but first let me clarify my position on marijuana. I have no problem at all with marijuana. I think it's much less dangerous than alcohol and properly regulated could be a terrific cash crop in parts of California where farmers are struggling to make a living. Willie Nelson of course famously founded Farm Aid, but if we want real farm aid we might want to think about legalising Willie's favourite herb.
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No my problem isn't pot, and it's not with Pitt either who's a pretty good actor, no my problem is that the fact that I could have scooped everyone on this story if it hadn't been for the British laws of libel. WTF? I hear you say. WTF is right my friend. I published a book early this year called Fifty Grand which had a scene in it where Brad Pitt attended a righteous pot smoking party, however because of Britain's terrifying libel laws I was forced to cut almost all of that scene for fear that Brad Pitt would sue me and my publishers Serpents Tail; and he probably would have won too because in Britain the burden of proof is heavily on the publisher to prove the substance of what they print. Serpents Tail were completely correct in protecting themselves and me when we cut the Pitt scene, indeed earlier this year another of Serpents Tail's authors David Peace was sued by an individual over an allegation he made in his book The Damned United, an allegation that I wont repeat here. Anyway, as I say, I could have scooped Maher but didn't, not really, unless you were clever enough to read between the lines of what I actually did say in the book. However now that Pitt has come clean about his, er, "past" as a pothead you can re-read that bit in Fifty Grand and imagine the scene as it might have been. Maybe for next year's paperback release I'll rewrite the whole chapter or maybe other well known actors will make revelations about their lives and perhaps the cut party bit will resurface at last. Am I still being a bit cagey about what I say even now? Damn right I am, I don't have David Peace's nerve or financial resources, and I know that no jury in the world is going to be able to resist that million dollar smile and accidentally unbuttoned shirt.