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May Wilkerson May Wilkerson

Susan Sarandon Is No Stranger to Psychedelic Drugs

The actress talks about her love of Burning Man, doing psychedelics in the Grand Canyon, and her vision for a "gentler" world where marijuana is legal everywhere.

2 Substance

Susan Sarandon is no square. The actress has been a vocal supporter of drug policy reform. And in a recent interview with The Daily Beast, she gets more specific, opening up about her visit to Burning Man (it was “fabulous”), her experiences with psychedelics (she prefers to take them outdoors), and her utopian vision of a world in which pot is legal everywhere.

“I’m not new to the idea of mushrooms,” says Sarandon, 67, who attended the annual outdoor festival Burning Man last year. “I don’t really like chemical things,” she continues. “Timothy Leary was a friend of mine, so that acid was nice and pure, but I’m not really looking for chemicals, and I don’t like to feel speedy. But I’ve done ayahuasca and I’ve done mushrooms and things like that.”

Sarandon also said that last year she had been stoned at “almost all the awards shows.” But her rule is she won’t do drugs around her kids, or in any situation where she’d have to lie about doing them. She also prefers not to get high in New York City, where she lives: “I like those drugs in the outdoors—I’m not a city tripper.” Her favorite places to get stoned are the Grand Canyon and the woods. “It does remind you of your space in the universe—your place in the universe—and reframe things for you,” she says. “I think you can have some very profound experiences.”

A staunch supporter of marijuana legalization, she notes that it’s safer than alcohol: “there’s never been a death by marijuana.” But she doesn’t advocate for a complete weed free-for-all, saying instead that it should be treated as a “controlled substance, in that you don’t give it to kids, and you don’t drive.” And edibles are a “different ballgame,” she says: “If I was driving and munching on a brownie I’d stand a really good chance of putting my car into a ravine.”

Though Sarandon says today’s drug laws are “crazy,” she envisions a future in which marijuana “will be legal everywhere, and that will cause a very interesting tipping point.” And this will lead to a more “gentle world,” she says: “People don’t get mean on weed, don’t beat up their wives on weed and don’t drive crazy on weed. They just get hungry, don’t go out of the house, or laugh a lot.” It doesn’t sound like the most productive world, but it does sound gentle. Fingers crossed.