Sir Paul McCartney Quits Drug That Got Him ‘Thinking For The First Time’

Ex-Beatle and British national treasure Sir Paul McCartney spoke out about his past drug use and how he stopped smoking cannabis to improve his relationship with his family. Talking to the Daily Mirror, McCartney described how his positive relationship with the drug came to an end several years ago in order to be a better parent and grandfather.

Paul McCartney, 72, plays a large role in the lives of his five children, as well as his eight grandchildren, and says it’s for their sake that he quit smoking cannabis.

“I don’t do it any more,” he explained. “Why? The truth is I don’t really want to set an example to my kids and grandkids. It’s now a parent thing.”

Paul McCartney was first introduced to cannabis during the early years of the Beatles’ global stardom by friend and fellow musician Bob Dylan. McCartney reminisced about fond years he spent smoking cannabis, claiming the drug played a large role in improving his songwriting, saying it got him “thinking for the first time, really thinking.”

“Back then I was just some guy around London having a ball, and the kids were little so I’d just try and keep it out of their faces.”

While Paul certainly acknowledges the positive effects he experienced whilst under the influence of cannabis, his relationship with the drug was far from perfect. McCartney was arrested and detained for nine days in a Japanese prison during a trip to the country in 1980 after it was discovered he was carrying half a pound (225g) of marijuana through customs. Eventually, Paul was released without charge following dozens of protests from thousands of fans, as well as frequent visits from his lawyers. McCartney described the experience as humbling but didn’t quit smoking cannabis until only a few years ago.

“Instead of smoking a spliff I’ll now have a glass of red wine or a nice margarita. The last time I smoked was a long time ago.”

Although Beatlemania is long over, the popularity of band and McCartney himself still spans the globe, with continued fame, fortune, and even becoming a staple of the British education system. The confessions from Paul McCartney come as the ex-member performs his first live tour in three years, celebrating the 50th anniversary of beloved record “Yesterday,” including performances in his hometown, Liverpool.

McCartney tweeted about his experience performing in the city, saying, “It’s brilliant to be back!”

[Image credit: Mark Duncan]