Saturday Night Live standout Pete Davidson has been making waves in comedy the past few years, but it’s been far from easy. Now, the 20-year-old budding television star is revealing how he copes with the constant excruciating pain of Crohn’s Disease — marijuana.
The Staten Island native sat down with High Times to discuss his approach to treatment, including how essential weed is in his daily life.
“My stomach would be in pain all day and I wouldn’t be able to eat, but then I’d smoke and I can eat and do my shows,” explained Davidson. “I wouldn’t be able to do SNL if I didn’t smoke weed. I wouldn’t be able to do anything really. Me performing not high has gone awful. It’s awful for me because I don’t feel well.”
Pete was diagnosed with the chronic inflammatory bowel disease when he was 18 years old. Crohn’s affects roughly 200,000 people per year in the United States, causing agonizing joint and abdominal pain while diminishing the sufferer’s appetite and energy levels drastically. There is currently no known cure for Crohn’s Disease, yet there are multiple treatment methodologies. The stand up comic and actor chooses marijuana proudly, and gets offended when critics blindly categorize him as a lazy “pothead.”
“I work really f—ing hard and I take care of my s–t and I need weed in order to do that,” Davidson stated in the two-minute video. “I found that the things the doctors were prescribing me, and seeing all these doctors and trying new things, weed was the only thing that would help me eat,” Davidson states in the interview.
Davidson, on why he’s speaking up about his “alternative” approach to treating his disease now, said, “I’ve been waiting three years to say something, and I think this is the time.” Davidson, among many others, has been outspoken in his criticism of New York’s restrictive medical marijuana program. The state has recently announced plans to increase access to medical marijuana, though many are still unsatisfied.
An excerpt from a late-August New York Times piece on the proposed expansion:
Several of the changes, which the Health Department recommended in a report issued two weeks ago, will take place almost immediately; for example, the state will issue requirements to companies to begin delivery within the week, with such services anticipated to begin by the end of next month, Mr. David said. Additionally, regulations will be filed on Tuesday to allow the expanded role for nurse practitioners, though such regulations are subject to a 45-day comment period.
Other changes include streamlining restrictions on manufacturing medical marijuana, and considering expanding the number of conditions that qualify patients to use it, including mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder and debilitating illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease. Residents are currently eligible if they have conditions like cancer, AIDS and epilepsy, though that roster of ailments has been considered too narrow by some advocates.
All told, Mr. David said the state intends to integrate all 12 of the Health Department’s recommendations, though several were still being reviewed, including a suggestion that the roster of five companies doing business in the state be doubled to 10. Each of those five extant companies are allowed to run four dispensaries, a scale that some have said is too small for a state with nearly 20 million residents. (Only 17 dispensaries are currently open.)
Cover Image Courtesy of Comedy Central