Woody Harrelson’s Marijuana Dispensary Application Denied
Before Woody Harrelson’s career rebounded in the last several years, there was one thing he was known for arguably more than his acting accomplishments: His love of pot. So when Hawaii, where he resides, passed a law in 2015 allowing eight medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, it was no surprise that his Simple Organic Living was one of almost 60 applicants. All applicants needed to meet the following criteria:
- Have $1 million cash plus $100,000 for each of the individual dispensaries (each licensee would be allowed two per license).
- Be a Hawaii resident for more than five years.
Presumably, Harrelson met those terms, but for whatever reason, his application was denied and he was not on the list of licensees released on Friday. The Hawaiian government has not publicly addressed why Simple Organic Living wasn’t picked, and Harrelson has not addressed the matter, either.
Harrelson has been on the advisory board of The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) since 2003 and has been an advocate for marijuana and hemp for much longer. During a 2009 Playboy interview, he spoke extensively about the topic and this exchange took place after he started to smoke a joint:
PLAYBOY: It’s unusual for a celebrity to smoke marijuana during an interview. Are you trying to make a statement of some kind?
HARRELSON: Not especially. I don’t know that it’s a helpful thing as an actor to be the poster boy for the marijuana movement. Certainly the media uses it a lot to marginalize. It also does a disservice to those who are actually on the front lines for the legalization cause. I’ve seen it printed that I’m a marijuana activist, and I understand that, but it’s really just something I enjoy.
PLAYBOY: What do you like about it?
HARRELSON: Oh you know, some folks may have a drink. I think it’s okay to have your alternatives. People may want to pop a pill before going to a party—that’s not for me. Cocaine freaks me out. That’s a drug with some crazy PR behind it. I don’t know how it became so popular. It just makes you rant and rave. But I like the mellow vibe of herb, its uninhibiting effect. For me, it’s a better drug than any of the others, and since we’re all drug addicts, I don’t think it’s a bad choice.
The lengths of Harrelson’s efforts include purposefully getting arrested in Kentucky in 1996 by planting four hemp seeds and tipping off the police. Kentucky law didn’t distinguish between marijuana and industrial/fiber hemp even though the latter has minimal THC, so you can’t get high from it.Harrelson was acquitted when his case eventually went to trial, with the jury deliberating for less than half an hour.