Kevin Smith: The Art of Productive Stoning

Kevin Smith. Such an ordinary name for such an extraordinary man. For almost 30 years we’ve looked to him for comedy, podcasts, and comic books, while also admiring his acting and filmmaking in movies like Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and the movie that started it all, Clerks.

Kevin may have become a stoner later in life, but the wisdom he carries regarding it reads like a positive affirmation we should all ingest. Turned on to using cannabis for a higher good by his pal Seth Rogan, Kevin’s take on living a stoner lifestyle gives us one more reason to admire this multi-talented, ordinary name having man.

Coming off the heels of Comic-Con, and before Clerks 3 makes it’s anticipated debut on September 13th, we attempted to get some spoilers (Spoiler: we didn’t), discussed the sweetest currency, his strains with Caviar Gold, and cannabis being a running theme in his life, even when it was just for show. 

Do you ever sit there at Comic-Con and revel in your head like, oh my god I did this?

Kevin Smith: Like, literally. Revel is the right fucking word. I’ve been going to Comic-Con since 95’ and when I first got there the dream was like, this is where I wanna be accepted. I wanna be as integral to this institution as Stan. This is worth all the effort. Some people got lucky early, like I did with my career, and all they wanted to do was party, do drugs, and get fucked. All I wanted to do was become the King of Comic-Con. It took decades, and I don’t know if I’m the king, but I’m definitely Comic-Con royalty. So, I do revel in it because I think back to the conscious effort I put into getting here. The kids today would call it, “thirsty.” I’m sure the kids would also say that was cringe, but whatever. I do revel in it. It’s so gross to admit!

Come on, you put in the work in. You deserve the love. 

I think it helps that it’s never been obscene amounts. Ben Affleck is worldwide famous. I’ve seen that shit up close and it’s nuts. He goes to a mall and he gets fucking swamped. I go to Comic-Con and can be with the general public. It really comes down to a series of knowing smiles. I encounter people who maybe don’t come over like, I wanna take a picture or can you sign this? Instead, they give you eye contact and then a smile crosses their face. That feels fantastic. That means they’re associating me with some pleasant fucking memory enough to give me the grin. I love that shit. That’s the sweetest currency that spends the absolute most in my world.

You started smoking weed pretty late in life. What kept you away from it? Nancy Regan?

Yes! That was it! I was raised in the era of “Just Say No” when drugs were stigmatized. And that’s fine when you’re talking about cocaine or heroin, but they stigmatized weed pretty hard. I had an internal bias from childhood that went along with becoming a stoner. I was like, oh my god you’re going to become one of those lazy people who eats food and watches TV. I made this commitment like, hey, obviously you like this stoning thing and obviously at age 38, it’s doing something for you. If you’re going to do this, it always has to be tied to productivity. So you can smoke, but you always have to be creating. Smoke and record a podcast, smoke and shoot a movie, smoke and write—never just smoke and watch things unless you’re watching a thing you’re editing. Sure, sometimes you need a little inhale to invite joy. But kids, it’s not just for parties. It’s for progress, for productivity, and it clears away the inhibitions and allows you to think about dreams in a very real way.

Where did you adapt this “productivity only” mindset from?

Seth Rogen turned me on to being a middle-aged stoner. I worked with him on Zack and Miri Make a Porno and Seth is one of the most stoned individuals I have ever met. I may have him beat now though. He was always productive and even though he was smoking weed, he wasn’t “the stereotype.” He was shooting my movie, adlibbing three funnier versions of my movie in-betweens takes, and working with his buddy Evan Goldberg on a script that he was working on for after Zack and Miri. That dude was empire building and introduced me to the notion of “the productive stoner.” There are a bunch of us in Hollywood that smoke weed and get shit done. Seth shattered the stereotype so I decided to move forward with it even though I had a built-in bias like, if you do this, you are fucked! I had to make peace with it and slowly came out as being a stoner. Which is so weird because I made all the Jay and Silent Bob movies that had so much weed in them. It wasn’t until I became a stoner and watched all my movies again that I was like, now I understand why stoners like these movies!

Photo by Allan Amato

Welcome! Let’s talk Caviar Gold. Word around town is it’s pretty potent.

These joints will knock you the fuck out but I rail it into my heart and lungs, multiple per day. The brands I make with Caviar Gold are packed full of distillate so periodically, I’ll give somebody a joint and three days later they’ll be like, did you fucking drug me? Like, oh I should’ve warned you they’re pretty high in THC. I was just a massive fan and when we were making Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, that’s what I was exclusively smoking. They did this “Caviar challenge” where it was something like, smoke a Caviar joint in 15 minutes we’ll give you 1k in product. I’m not too rich to be like, no way! I took the challenge and failed, but I then met Caviar Mike through a friend and he’s a genius. I sat down and said something like, in the movie Jay and Silent Bob we make three strains of weed: Snoogans, Berzerker, and Snootchie Boochies. I love your product, would you make weed for me? And he did. We’ve been in business since 2019, the product is sensational, and it’s allowed us to travel around to weed legal states to do exhibits and stuff. It’s great for me because I never run out of weed. It’s also great because when people come over I can be like, hey, have a joint with my face on it!

Staying with joints, in the trailer for Clerks 3, you and Jay are hitting a giant ass joint and I’m trying to imagine, how much weed?!

Raw makes those papers and props to Raw because they’re not just a great stoner company, they’re one of the greatest American companies in existence right now. The guy who runs it is a perfectionist and artist. So, they made those giant ass cones. Did they work? Hands down they fucking work. Is it a wise use of weed? If you’re one of those people that grows and has access to copious amounts of weed, I would say it’s a once in a lifetime party experience. Great visual for social media, and it was phenomenal for our fucking flick. It looked ridiculous like you’re in Willy Wonka’s factory for heaven sake. If you’re going to try it, I say save it for a special occasion. A birthday or a shindig where you’re going to have 30 people around you trust. Talk about a communal smoke!

Becoming a stoner kind of rewrote it all for you.

It really flipped the perspective for me. It allowed me to wear my heart on my sleeve. I would do the work but I felt like I had to be the “Kevin Smith” they thought they knew, or suspected I was based on the movies. When I go back to old interviews, I just want to punch the shit out of that kid. The whole world is a burden and he’s projecting this insouciance to try to match the vibe of the first movie he made. But that first movie he made phased him because it made all of his fucking dreams come true. How do you sit around and still maintain that the world is a shitty place when it’s not? Because you and your friends took a step towards art, all of that changed. That storyteller is incredibly self-conscious and worried about what he’s put together. This storyteller is a stoner and realizes that “worry is interest paid in advance on a debt that never comes due.” I stole that from David Mamet’s The Spanish Prisoner, but it’s absolutely true. I was really happy that becoming a stoner allowed me to be, me. In person, in public, when I’m working or not.

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