John Wayne once recalled in an interview about his experiences trying weed and opium, but not at the same time.


Movie star John Wayne had conservative politics, so his feelings toward adult topics, such as drugs, including weed, would seem quite obvious to most. It certainly wasn’t a topic that he openly talked about on a frequent basis, but he didn’t have an issue talking about it when asked. Wayne once recalled in an interview about his experiences trying weed and opium, but not at the same time.

John Wayne loved his liquor

In an interview with Playboy, Wayne called Conmemorativo tequila “as fine a liquor as there is in the world.” He was known to be a regular drinker, using it to enhance his game night with close friends. Additionally, Wayne had many intimate conversations with those close to him over a drink, such as with Gunsmoke lead actor James Arness. After all, he didn’t trust a man who didn’t drink.

The Wayne legacy went as far as having Duke Spirits, which instilled his brand into an alcohol company. Alcohol frequently got him into some troublesome situations, such as some pranks with his friends. However, Wayne often framed liquor in a positive light.

John Wayne said nothing happened when he tried weed and opium

In the same interview, Wayne talked about the health difference between weed and alcohol. At the time, he claimed that there was “no top authority saying what marijuana does to you,” although the actor admitted to not knowing a whole lot about that. Nevertheless, Wayne did admit to trying weed once in his life.

“I tried it once, but it didn’t do anything to me,” Wayne said. “The kids say it makes them think they’re going 30 miles an hour when they’re going 80. If that’s true, marijuana use should definitely be stopped.”

Wayne continued: “When I went to Hong Kong, I tried opium once, as a clinical thing. I heard it didn’t make you sick the first time, and Jesus, it just didn’t affect me one way or the other, either. So I’m not a very good judge of how debasing it is.”

“It’s like water against a cliff,” Wayne said in response to whether drugs are “debasing.” “Each wave deteriorates it a little more. I’m quite sure that’s the same thing that happens to human beings when they get hooked on drugs. What bothers me more is society’s attitude toward drugs.”

“We allowed all the hippies to stay together in Haight-Ashbury and turn it into a dirty, filthy, unattractive place,” Wayne stated. “We allow the glorifying of drugs in our business—like in Easy Rider, where the guy says, ‘Jesus, don’t you smoke pot?’—as if smoking pot is the same as chewing Bull Durham.”

John Wayne learned to chew tobacco in college

Wayne wasn’t a fan of weed, but he did develop a connection to chewing tobacco. He explained in the Playboy interview that it was something he learned to do during his time in college. However, he hadn’t done it in quite some time, so he explained that he was out of practice.

“During football season, when we couldn’t smoke, we always used to chew,” Wayne recalled. “When I was a kid, if you wore a new pair of shoes, everybody would spit on them. I haven’t practiced spitting lately, so don’t wear your new shoes and expect me to hit them with any accuracy. I’m not the marksman I used to be.”

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