The Dark Tower, based on the well-known book series written by Stephen King, hits theaters today. The film revolves around the titular structure’s importance in holding together the universe, and like any good story about architecture and the fate of mankind, there are two opposing sides. One side, led by the villainous sorcerer known only as the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), and the other by the heroic gunslinger Roland (Idris Elba). Although many film critics are reporting that it doesn’t live up to the hype of the source material, it still reminds readers and film watchers alike to think about King’s vast library of written works, many of which were written while the author consumed cannabis. There is no debating that King’s novels are amazing tales plucked from the brain of a genius, and even though the film falls short of expectations, there’s no denying the creative brilliance that birthed it.
Also referred to as the “Master of Horror,” King has a long history of being both a cannabis consumer and advocate. He was interviewed for High Times back in 1981, and has been lobbying for its legalization ever since. “I think that marijuana should not only be legal, I think it should be a cottage industry,” he said in that interview. “It would be wonderful for the state of Maine . . . What we’ve got up there are lobsters, potatoes and a lot of poor people. My wife says, and I agree with her, that what would be really great for Maine would be to legalize dope completely and set up dope stores the way that there are state-run liquor stores.”
When his home state of Maine, where a number of his novels take place, was considering legalizing recreational cannabis in 2016, King publicly endorsed the measure and spoke out on the issue. He has become such a cultural and cannabis icon that there are numerous strains named after the author and his creations. One of which is Pennywise, named after the murderous clown from It, which is a high-CBD indica bred from Harlequin and Jack the Ripper strains. Effects include relaxation, happiness and an increased chance that you will follow a scary clown into the sewers and become traumatized for life.
King continues to write, and his works are being adapted for film and television feverishly. Aside from The Dark Tower, other projects such as It, The Mist, Castle Rock and Mr. Mercedes will all be adapted for fans to enjoy for the coming years.