For better or worse, Kevin Smith is known today as one of Hollywood's most prominent potheads. But while the director's habit may have had a less-than-desirable result on his recent films, at least one doctor told him smoking weed may have saved his life during a massive heart attack earlier this year.
The New Jersey native stopped by the Late Show on Tuesday night, where he discussed the February health scare that resulted from a 100 percent blockage of his left anterior descending artery. The condition is known as "the widowmaker" due to its high mortality rate, which Smith, 47, said kills 80 percent of people afflicted by it.
Marijuana, however, helped mitigate the widowmaker's effects by keeping Smith calm, the director told host Stephen Colbert.
"The whole time, I'm chill. The paramedic, he goes, 'You're being real calm. That's going to get you through this,'" Smith said. "There was a dude behind him who goes, 'That's what's going to save his life.' I was like, 'What does that part mean?'"
As it turns out, Smith had smoked what he referred to as "too much weed" the day of his heart attack. When the heart attack hit, Smith said, he thought all that toking was just catching up to him.
"I'd smoked a bunch of weed that day because I was doing the show, and then I smoked a joint right before the show," Smith said on the Late Show. "Then I got off stage and all of a sudden I had a heart attack. I asked my doctor after this was all done, I was like, 'I hate to ask this question, man, but did I have a heart attack because of the weed? Because I smoked a joint right before the show.'"
The doctor, however, didn't think that was the case.
"He goes, 'No, quite the opposite. That weed saved your life,'" Smith said. "And I was like, Do tell, man. What do you mean?' He said, 'You kept calm. They told you you were having a massive heart attack, and you remained calm the whole time, so that joint saved your life.' I was like, 'I'm putting that on a T-shirt.'"
"I'm a wake-and-baker, so I'm feeling fantastic," he said. "I've been up since 5 a.m. I'm ready to embrace the day."
While the Clerks director is known today as an out-and-out pothead, he actually didn't start blazing in earnest until relatively recently. As he told MTV back in 2011, his love for pot didn't really begin until he directed 2008's Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which had him working alongside fellow Hollywood pothead Seth Rogen. Until then, at age 38, he had only gotten high a few times.