When it comes to counterculture, Bryan Cranston will forever be associated with meth because of his role as Walter White on the award-winning series Breaking Bad (2008-2013). But the California-born actor - who turns 60 today - is also an outspoken supporter of marijuana legalization.
In August 2012, Cranston did an interview with High Times and discussed his views on marijuana, which are still relevant today as more states mull over issues like legalization and responsible use. Here are the highlights.
1) Marijuana should be treated like wine
Right now, the federal government lists cannabis as a substance that's as addictive and dangerous as heroin. But Cranston thinks it should be treated like wine:
"I went on Bill Maher's show and publicly said, 'Legalize marijuana.' Marijuana started out with a bad connotation, as you know - but to me, marijuana is no different than wine. It's a drug of choice. It's meant to alter your current state - and that's not a bad thing. It's ridiculous that marijuana is still illegal. We're still fighting for it."
2) Cranston is a non-smoking advocate
When asked if he smoked cannabis, Cranston said no because of a quirky side effect:
"Pot has always had the effect of making me sleepy. I have a friend who will smoke -- or suck on a pot lollipop - on a daily basis. It not only doesn't put him to sleep, he cleans the entire house! He goes to work, no ill effects. It's just his metabolism. Everyone's body is different."
But he's open to medical use...as a cure for insomnia: "if I ever couldn't sleep, give me a hit or a little bite of an edible and I'd be out in 15 minutes."
3) Marijuana should be a matter of personal choice
Instead of prohibition, America should let citizens rule on personal marijuana use accord to the laws of personal preference:
"It comes down to individual decision-making," Cranston argued. "There are millions of people who smoke pot on a social basis and don't become criminals. So stop with that argument – it doesn't work."
4) He practices what he preaches about cannabis
For Cranston, respecting a person's choice extends to his family. Here's what he and his wife told their daughter about drugs when she went off to college:
"Again, it's about decision-making. My wife and I handled it that way: We said, 'Look, you know we trust you. You make your own decisions; we know you're smart. If you go out and you want to drink and smoke, be in an environment where you feel safe and comfortable -- and don't drive!"
5) Use common sense: don't drive when you're high
Like many Americans, Cranston doesn't think personal choice should lead to endangering the lives of others by driving high:
"I see all these celebrities who go out and either get high or get drunk and then drive. It's like, 'What is wrong with you? You have all the means - if you want to go out and party, go out and party. But why can't you hire a driver for the night? C'mon!' I don't know...I don't get it. It's about being smart."
banner image: Gage Skidmore / Flickr
h/t High TImes