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Paul McCartney Replacing Cannabis with Alcohol to “Set an Example” for His Grandkids

June 1, 2015

Sir Paul McCartney recently told The Daily Mirror that he quit using cannabis to "set an example" for his eight grandchildren and will now instead imbibe a glass of wine or a "nice margarita." The former Beatle and iconic music legend was reportedly introduced to cannabis by Bob Dylan in 1964, and he's had a long-standing relationship with the plant since (including an arrest in 1980 for hauling a pound of cannabis through Japanese customs). 

Said McCartney:

"I don't do that any more. Why? The truth is I don't really want to set an example to my kids and grandkids. It's now a parent thing. 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. Instead of smoking a spliff I'll now have a glass of wine or a nice margarita. The last time I smoked was a long time ago."

I don't want to pull the "cannabis vs. alcohol" card, but it says a lot about the social perception of each when someone who wants to set a good example for the youth in his life thinks its unacceptable to consume cannabis but is fine with knocking back a bit of booze in their presence. Nobody's expecting Grandpa Paul to spark up a spliff and casually blow the smoke into his grandchildren's faces, but he doesn't have to cut it out of his life entirely in order to teach them smart, responsible choices. What's worse, by replacing cannabis with alcohol, McCartney is perpetuating the misinformed notion that alcohol is a safer, more kid-friendly alternative when the reality is that alcohol is 114 times more toxic than cannabis

We can set a positive example for kids by having open and honest discussions with them about both cannabis and alcohol, explaining to them that each substance is meant for adult consumption (excluding medical marijuana for valid patients, of course) instead of shutting down the conversation entirely and hoping that by ignoring it, children will forget about cannabis. I understand Sir Paul McCartney's intent, but I disagree with his actions. Plenty of cannabis consumers set positive examples for young people and emphasize safe, responsible use in balance with their overall lifestyle. We need to highlight those scenarios instead of suppressing them and reaching for the bottle to avoid an open, honest discourse about a movement that's gaining serious momentum.

  • Linda Rice

    Paul has NOT quit smoking pot! Ha, ha. No way. I know someone who works for him who gave him a new, fancy lighter for Xmas. Maybe he uses it to light candles? Not!

  • Rian

    Years ago I saw a controlled experiment where young men & women took a variety of drugs, including alcohol, and drove a car through a challenging obstacle course. The fastest and most extreme hand/eye coordination damage was from the alcohol. Marijuana had very little negative effect and in some cases, people drove better. Alcohol does more damage overall to lives than any other drug, so drink up Paul and set that good example.

  • Giving Up Weed For Booze? Huh…
    This sounds a little warped. How can you say you are ok with Alcohol but want to set a good example for your grand kids. What is your logic for such a ridiculous statement? Why bother saying anything at all. Are you a weed snob all of a sudden or are you trying to promote alcohol? I’m confused.

  • Shlomo von Glickstein

    WTF??? His former wife, Linda, died of complications of breast/liver cancer…. IS MCCARTNEY ON GLUE??? THIS IS ABSURD….

  • The “example” Sir Paul McCartney is setting?
    A: Cannabis / marijuana still carries a greater social “stigma” than alcoholic beverages…