The Golden Era of Hollywood was all about the glitz and glam of classical cinema. This era spans from 1917 to the 1960s, which later influenced several styles of film-making throughout the world. However, not many people know that behind the glamorous world of Hollywood, marijuana and other drugs kept the actors and actresses going.
People in the movie industry were using both legal and illegal drugs either for leisure or to help them cope with their exhaustion from so much work in show business. An actor or actress’s image was everything during the Golden Era of Hollywood, and they could not afford to have their names tainted due to bad behavior. Despite such importance, Hollywood studios supplied their stars with marijuana.
During the Golden Era, film studios demanded very rigorous schedules that performers had to keep up with. One way to help their stars maintain the fast pace of being a film star was to give them marijuana so they could shoot numerous films with no breaks.
Judy Garland, an American singer, actress, and vaudevillian whose career spanned for more than 40 years, was one of those stars given amphetamines and barbiturates to help her film for long durations and to help her sleep.
She starred in a series of Andy Hardy teenage musicals and had to work six days a week. Sometimes, she worked 18 hours a day. It was reported that drugs were given to her to keep her energy up and to help keep her weight down.
Many more stars who used marijuana and other drugs during the Golden Era of Hollywood were arrested due to possession. One of them was Robert Mitchum. He was arrested after a sting was carried out by police to trap influential people who hosted events and influenced others in Hollywood. There were also many other actors, actresses, and big names in Hollywood who were supposed to be arrested, but were tipped off or managed to evade authorities.
In Hollywood today, many celebrities still get arrested for possession of marijuana and other drugs. Others get arrested due to driving under the influence of illegal substances. However, marijuana is much more regulated now compared to the first years of Hollywood.
In 2016, smoking marijuana for recreational purposes was approved in California. Greenhouses received the green light to legally grow marijuana so that industrial facilities can process it and in turn, shops can sell it for recreational use and not for medical usage. However, usage in California is not yet that stable because a safe and legal place to use marijuana in Los Angeles remains scarce. Pot shops in the area and other cannabis-related businesses cannot allow consumers to use marijuana products on site.
The lack of an area where people can legally smoke marijuana in the state is a big problem for tourists because locals can smoke marijuana on private property or inside their homes. Rules are now being drafted to allow lounges were marijuana may be consumed by tourists and locals alike.
During the Golden Era of Hollywood, many actors and actresses relied on cannabis both recreational and medicinal purposes even though it was often poorly viewed by the general public. Nowadays, marijuana usage in Hollywood is still prevalent, but stars are more mindful of its effects and benefits.