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Jerry O'Connell's Marijuana Mishap Briefly Shut Down Production Of 'Stand By Me'

Actor Jerry O'Connell - who turns 43 today - is the poster child for regulating cannabis edibles. At least he was when he was shooting the hit coming-of-age movie Stand By Me in 1985. While taking a break from the set, O'Connell got into a situation that demonstrates why the legal marijuana industry needs rules to keep cookies, brownies and other THC-infused treats away from kids.

O'Connell was just 11 when he filmed the movie. And like pretty much any kid his age, he loved going to the fair. But unlike most kids, he showed a dangerous amount of initiative when his babysitter tried to stop him from going.

"We were shooting in Eugene, Oregon and they were having a hippie fair," co-star Kiefer Sutherland later recalled. "And I think [O'Connell] only saw 'fair' and 'carnival' and thought there'd be rides. And I don't know how he did it...but apparently he managed to tie his babysitter up to the bannister and snuck out for the evening."

But the child actor regretted that decision when he unknowingly bought and ate a bunch of THC-infused cookies.

"They found him crying in the park," Sutherland added. "He'd lost it. Totally disoriented. And we had to shut down [film production] for two days. He was stoned for a little while."

So it's no wonder Oregon regulators wanted to take things slow when introducing edibles to the state's recreational cannabis market. Cannabis advocate Anthony Johnson -- who helped craft Oregon's legalization initiative -- told Civilized in October 2015 that regulators took extra time to develop rules that would prevent the sort of incident that happened to O'Connell from recurring. 

Since then, recreational marijuana retailers have begun selling edibles and there haven't been any reports of hippie fairs shutting down Hollywood movies. For more from Sutherland on 'Stand By Me," check out the full interview with Jimmy Kimmel from 2012.


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