In the minds of many Americans raised on with Bob Marley posters in their rooms, Jamaica is a verdant land where the weed is plentiful and the residents walk around with their heads in clouds of marijuana smoke. In reality, things aren't quite so hazy. In fact, one of the country's most famous musicians, Sean Paul, doesn't even smoke weed anymore. He drinks it.
In a recent interview on the Juan Epstein podcast, the question of weed in Jamaica versus the U.S. came up, and Sean Paul explained that he likes to start off his day with a tasty marijuana brew—for medicinal purposes. Hosts Peter Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds seemed to have trouble grasping the idea, as if curling up with a warm mug of weed isn't the most normal thing in the world.
You'd think these guys never even listen to rap, the way they act like they've never heard a jam about downing bottles of weed in the club or having a glass of weed with dinner. Cipha Sounds even asked how Sean Paul makes it, as if he's never woken up and fired up the kettle to brew a stiff cuppa. And Rosenberg treated the whole idea as ridiculous, like he doesn't send his interns to Starbucks for a Venti Weed to go from time to time. Thankfully, Sean Paul patiently explained how the habit works like medicine for him and how his idea for making a song about it got rejected. Here's how it went down:
Rosenberg: Yo Sean, is weed legal to smoke in Jamaica?
Sean Paul: No sir. No sir.
Cipha Sounds: You can't curse onstage in Jamaica. You'll get arrested.
Roseneberg: You guys talk about smoking weed all the time.
Sean Paul: Yeah, but you talk about the things you want, right?
Rosenberg: When you're in America, can you smoke weed? Can you safely talk about smoking weed
Sean Paul: Yeah, I can. I don't smoke weed no more. I drink it.
Rosenberg: [Incredulous] You drink weed?
Sean Paul: Yeah, I boil it.
Rosenberg: Are you being serious?
Sean Paul: Yeah.
Cipha Sounds: You boil it and drink it?
Sean Paul: Yeah, for four years now.
Rosenberg: You being serious?
Cipha Sounds: You put it in a—
Sean Paul: I put it in water and I boil it and I drink it.
Cipha Sounds: Just straight up? Just take it—
Rosenberg: Sean, I've got to be honest. You found a way to take a drug and make it more drug addict-y. You're like "just give it to me straight!"
Sean Paul: [Laughs] No, I see it more as medicine. You know? Med, like meds.
Rosenberg: So you really use it and you sort of actually treat it like an anti-anxiety or an anti-depressant or something like that.
Sean Paul: I think everybody treats it like that.
Rosenberg: They just make it seem more recreational when they smoke it.
Sean Paul: Every song is not a weed song. Every song is not a party song—
Rosenberg: Well let's be honest. You can't do it anymore because if you're like "yo, pass me a glass of that weed" everyone's gonna be like "what the fuck is this guy talking about?
Sean Paul: I did have a tea song, but I was advised "no, don't do that." [Joking] I thought I was going to get an endorsement from Lipton like right away, son.
Rosenberg: So what is your—do you do it in the morning?
Sean Paul: Yeah, mostly. It lasts a very long time, sir.
Rosenberg: 'Cause it's like an edible. Because I'll be honest. Sean, I'll be 100 percent honest. You seem relaxed and stoned right now.
Sean Paul: That's from yesterday. Yes, sir.
Sean Paul goes on to explain that the drug helps him focus on his goals and gives him a sense of euphoria, making a case for medical marijuana in keeping distractions under control. This isn't the first time Sean Paul has discussed this habit, which he also mentioned to British tabloid The Sun last year. And while Sean Paul's weed consumption habits may seem a little unorthodox to people more accustomed to picturing the drug in puff, puff, pass mode, the Jamaican singer isn't alone in his preference. The Stoner's Cookbook lists a recipe for Marijuana Tea/Weed Tea ("Marijuana: Yes; Level: Easy") that's been viewed nearly 1.5 million times, while soda company Canna Cola ("the World's Most Recognized Brand in Medical Marijuana") makes a variety of THC-infused beverages for medical marijuana dispensaries.
So while Lipton may not be eager to dish out money for the inevitable "Drink The Weed" video, Sean Paul still might be able to line up some sponsors and attract fans who want nothing more than a great song to listen to while they slurp down a nice ice cold glass of weed or wrap their hands around a piping hot mug of weed for the winter. In fact, if Sean Paul doesn't do this, he's missing out on a huge and inevitable tie-in business of weed-themed coffee mugs and beer weed coozies with his lyrics all over them. Drink the Weed, man.
Watch the video above for more of the interview, including a valuable discussion about strip clubs in different parts of the country, or check out the full podcast below. The weed section starts around 1:10:45: