Comedian Doug Benson talks California weed, pimps at Howe ’bout Arden and the legendary Cinedomes
Sacramento, CA 95825
Normal girls idolize hunks like Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt. Stoner girls sweat Doug Benson. So when I found out I’d be interviewing my favorite cannabis-loving comedian, I just about knocked over my bong. Benson is known for his 2007 Morgan Spurlock-esque documentary Super High Me; if you haven’t seen it, Benson basically replaces 30 days of Big Macs with 30 days of smoking herb. When he’s not high—or is he?—Benson is also a regular on VH1’s Best Week Ever, was a finalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and earned the honor of 2006 Stoner of the Year from High Times Magazine. Smoke it.
In Super High Me, you joke about taking a road trip to Sacramento.
There was just so much stuff to get into an 88-minute movie, that [Sacramento] prologue part just couldn’t fit. Basically, I feel like the Sacramento Punch Line is in Super High Me, because we did that and I have memories of doing it, but sadly enough, it’s never actually in the movie. But I love Sacramento, I’ve been there four or five times. Every time I’m there, I go see a movie in those crazy dome theaters. I fell asleep during Superman Returns there.
You’re a medical-marijuana patient in California, but you’re a criminal when you travel to other states with pot. What’s that like?
Unfortunately, I can’t work exclusively in California, as much as I’d like to. So as a result, I just have to go with whatever happens. I travel with pills that I get from my dispensary in [Los Angeles], and that gets me through the flights and a day or two into town. Once I start doing shows, people will offer me weed at every show. I’m not much of a weed snob, because it wouldn’t be fair to take stuff from people and then judge them on the quality of it.
Isn’t it legalized in a few other states?
Yeah, it’s legalized in 13 states, but their laws are usually stricter or extremely vague. In the fall, I’m really going to get to the bottom of what’s going on in these places and do a medical-marijuana tour, starting on October 1 through the 13th, playing one club every night in each of the states.
Are you a pot activist?
I’ve done the occasional marijuana march, and I went to the THC Expo in Los Angeles. And that stuff is awesome, but it tends to happen when I’m working. Anytime I can get onstage in front of a bunch of people and say all the things I have to say about pot and make everybody laugh, I think I’m opening up more minds that way. But I definitely think [marijuana advocates] are making strides. I’ll be talking about that every night at the Punch Line out there in the Howe ’bout Arden mall, where they have, um, a wireless-phone store and a mattress store. It’s sort of like a one-stop shop for pimps. That’s where they stick me.