Bill Murray in September of 2012 (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Bill Murray: “The terror of marijuana was probably overstated”

We regular folk often love having direct access to our entertainment heroes. Remember when Twitter was still new and Trent Reznor (or Ellen DeGeneres or Ashton Kutcher or Oprah Winfrey or whoever) responded directly to one of your tweets?

Of course Reddit AMAs (ask-me-anythings) are the new Twitter. I did an AMA last month, and while I’m hardly famous, I did appreciate the direct conversation with people who were curious about this site, Colorado marijuana law and my short time with Stephen Colbert.

Bill Murray did an AMA a few days ago, and it’s very much worth a read. Some highlights had the actor talking about going back in time to chat with Einstein or Mendel, his “most fun” film role being Jim Jarmusch’s “Broken Flowers,” his feelings about the current “SNL” cast and his answer to a Japanese sushi chef’s question, “Would you like some fresh eel?”

Murray also answered the question, “How do you feel about recreational marijuana?” And here’s what he had to say:

“Well that’s a large question, isn’t it? Because you’re talking about recreation, which everyone is in favor of. You are also talking about something that has been illegal for so many years, and marijuana is responsible for such a large part of the prison population, for the crime of self-medication. And it takes millions and billions of dollars by incarcerating people for this crime against oneself as best can be determined.

“People are realizing that the war on drugs is a failure, that the amount of money spent, you could have bought all the drugs with that much money rather than create this army of people and incarcerated people.

“I think the terror of marijuana was probably overstated. I don’t think people are really concerned about it the way they once were. Now that we have crack and crystal and whatnot, people don’t even think about marijuana anymore, it’s like someone watching too many video games in comparison.

“The fact that states are passing laws allowing it means that its threat has been over-exaggerated. Psychologists recommend smoking marijuana rather than drinking if you are in a stressful situation. These are ancient remedies, alcohol and smoking, and they only started passing laws against them 100 years ago.”