How George Carlin Used Cannabis In The Creative Process

Forget the old adage "write drunk; edit sober." The late standup legend and longtime cannabis consumer George Carlin had another recipe for getting the creative juices flowing: "write sober; revise high" by always keeping a joint near your writing desk.

Carlin - who would have turned 80 today - opened up to Jon Stewart about the role cannabis plays in his creative process during an interview for the HBO special George Carlin: 40 Years of Comedy (1997).  

"I find with pot - I'm not a big drug user anymore, but I always have a joint somewhere near me," he said. "I hardly touch it - maybe once a month. That would be frequent for me. But when I'm writing something, and I write perfectly straight, perfectly sober. And I write a whole lot of stuff - six, seven, eight, nine pages. And I really pour it out. Then, the next day, one hit - that's all I need now - one hit and it's punch-up time! Time to get this thing going. And with that sort of judicious use, I do find there's some value in it."

So Carlin wasn't just a standup comedy pioneer. He was also one of the first celebrity micro-dosers

For more of George Carlin's views on drugs, alcohol and creativity, check out the full interview with Jon Stewart.


No matter how you partake, the timeline of a nice cannabis session is often the same. Things change a lot as the minutes tick by, and there's definitely a turning point, when things get a little more serious. So next time you have a smoke or an edible, see if your timeline matches up with this one.

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