David Letterman to Oprah Winfrey: You Smoking?

On Friday, May, 15, 2015, television and lifestyle icon Oprah Winfrey appeared on David Letterman’s “The Late Show” to say goodbye to the legendary comedian as he prepares to retire next week and discuss, amongst other things, smoking marijuana.

Oprah, who had just been discussing the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, seemed slightly taken aback when Letterman suddenly asked her, “What do you think about smoking weed? Are you smoking?”

Oprah seemed incredulous at the question at first, but after taking a moment to scan laughing studio audience members she giggled and responded, “Actually, no. I haven’t smoked in 30 years. Really.”

Letterman explained that he hadn’t partaken in decades himself, and the pair went on to discuss the difference in strength between product in their youth and today, as well as the problem of “munchies,” not pleasant for anyone, but especially troublesome for anyone whose livelihood depends on appearing in front of an audience of millions nearly every single day. Letterman cited an incident in which he devoured two entire pints of ice cream in the middle of the night, standing before his open freezer, and Oprah admitted that, “For me, it was a sleeve of Oreos.”

Letterman and Oprah famously feuded for decades, reportedly due to Letterman once tricking Oprah into paying his lunch tab at a resort, but resolved their differences in the early 2000s.

Oprah was previously asked if she enjoyed marijuana on “Watch What Happens Live” by host Andy Cohen in 2013, at which point she also claimed to have given up smoking in the late 80s.

Oprah symbolizes wealth, comfort, and luxury to many Americans, and it is interesting to ponder whether talk show hosts seem to like asking her if she enjoys marijuana because perceptions are changing toward cannabis, for either recreational or medicinal purposes. Whereas marijuana was once associated with the fringes of society, more and more people are embracing it as a legitimate recreational and investment opportunity, and many celebrities are becoming more willing to go on the record about their smoking—or in the case of Morgan Freeman, snorting—habits.

Cannabis might be on the verge of getting a reputation as a luxury item, in which case it is shocking that someone as wealthy and successful as Oprah doesn’t at least kick back with an edible once in a while. Of course, if Oprah was to use cannabis, she’d be at risk of incurring the wrath of Jackie Chan, so better she does steer clear.

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