Do Frank Underwood And Kevin Spacey Differ On Cannabis Policy?

House of Cards fans breathed a collective sigh of relief when Netflix released Season 4 of the Emmy Award winning series on March 4, 2016, leading to a weekend of late-winter binge watching around the continent.

Kevin Spacey's character Frank Underwood is known for his quiet, manipulative, murderous and Machiavellian ways. And to cope with all his madness, he spends many a scene smoking midnight cigarettes out his dining room window with wife Claire (played by Robin Wright).

But no midnight toking?

No, the series mostly left cannabis use to first season's Congressman Peter Russo. Remember that scene where he rolled a blunt in less than 45 seconds in the kooky guy's trailer? With the line, "Can a corporate sell-out roll a joint like this?"

But while we haven't seen Francis Underwood lighting up, Kevin Spacey is no stranger to cannabis use in his silver screen career.

In 2009's Shrinks, Spacey plays a cannabis-smoking psychiatrist who self medicates with marijuana after the death of his wife. And his suburban dad character was also turned on to cannabis (among other things) in 1999's American Beauty.

The two characters couldn't be more unalike though. In American Beauty, Spacey becomes a happy, weight-lifting cannabis user. In Shrinks, it leads to depression and the need for an intervention. The reason for the difference is simple. As he told MTV News in 2009:

"It all comes down to the kind of pot you're smoking."

It's hard to know if the Underwoods will bring cannabis to the White House any time soon. But, it has happened at least once before in real life, back when Jimmy Carter was in office. Willie Nelson and Carter's son Chip spent some quality time on the roof indulging.

What Spacey does bring to the White House is a great sense of drama and humor. Check out this House of Cards spoof from the 2013 White House Correspondents' Dinner.


John Sinclair is one of the lesser-known people in cannabis culture, but he’s a very important figure, particularly for anti-prohibition activists. Sinclair is a native of Flint, Michigan, far from the hippie epicenters in California or the Warhol scene of the Big Apple. The scene in Michigan was grittier and more blue collar.