Marijuana Policy Project

James Franco

James Franco as Saul in "Pineapple Express": "I started selling pot so I could put my bubbeh in a nice retirement home."

Though he doesn't' smoke pot, James Franco is loved by stoners largely due to his performance as weed dealer Saul in Pineapple Express. Known as Hollywood's Renaissance Man, Franco acts, writes, directs, draws, sculpts and sings, among his many artistic abilities. 

Born in Palo Alto, California on Apr. 19, 1978, Franco was an English major at UCLA, but he quit school to start his acting career. In 1999, he got his big break on the TV show Freaks and Geeks, where he met Seth Rogen. He played the lead in James Dean (2001), for which he won his first Golden Globe awaerd in 2002, and had supporting roles in Spider-Man (2002) and Spider-Man 2 (2004).

Then, in 2008, came Pineapple Express, the stoner action comedy co-written by Rogen directed by David Gordon Green. Franco nailed the dealer character Saul, who goes on an adventures with one of his clients, Dale, played by Rogen. Saul extols the virtues of a strain called God's Vagina and provides the infamous cross joint in the movie's best smoke sesh. Franco received aanother Golden Globe nomination for the role. 

Saul to Dale: 'This is like if that Blue Oyster shit met that Afghan Kush I had - and they had a baby. And then, meanwhile, that crazy Northern Light stuff I had and the Super Red Espresso Snowflake met and had a baby. And by some miracle, those two babies met and fucked - this would be the shit that they birthed.'

He's been in high demand ever since, appearing in Milk, Howl, 127 Hours (for which he earned an Academy Award nomination), Your Highness, Spring Breakers, Lovelace, Oz the Great and Powerful, This Is the End, Palo Alto, The Interview, The Adderall Diaries, The Night Before, Why Him?, HBO's The Deuce and The Disaster Artist,which he directed and won his second Best Actor Golden Globe for.

In 2014, Franco acknowledged that he hadn't "(smoked weed) in a long time. There's just no need." But he said about Rogen, "I don't think it's any different than somebody having a glass of wine or something at lunch."

Franco lives in Los Angeles. He's single. His brother Dave is also actor.


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.