Filmmaker Kevin Smith suffered a near-fatal heart attack after a stand-up performance on February 25 of this year. In the aftermath, he feared the large joint he smoked before the show had caused it. According to his doctor, however, the joint actually saved his life.

The doctor maintained the weed’s effects kept Smith in a calm state of mind throughout the traumatic experience, thus preventing stress levels and fear. When he described the experience recently to Stephen Colbert, Smith made reference to multiple hospital employees remarking positively on his calmness.

“I asked my doctor like after this was all done, I was like, ‘I hate to ask this question, man, but did I have a heart attack because of the weed?’” Smith remembers. “'Because I smoked a joint right before the show.’ And he goes, ‘No. In fact, quite the opposite. That weed saved your life.’”

Smith is perhaps best known for his '90s comedies Clerks, Mallrats, and Dogma. In each film, he appears as Silent Bob, sidekick of Jay and co-seller of weed. Even though the drug plays a prominent role in Smith’s early films — who could forget Jay’s weed-focused rap from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back? — it wasn’t until the 2000s that Smith became a self-described “massive stoner.”

He started smoking daily at age 38, after being impressed with Seth Rogen’s weed-fueled productivity on the set of Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Smith made a deal with himself that he could smoke weed so long as he doesn’t morph into the couch-ridden, lazy stereotype. So long as he remained productive, he could smoke as much as he desired.

In lieu of this agreement, Smith claimed, “My productivity has gone through the roof because I want to smoke weed so badly, and in order to do that, I have to do something productive connected to it.” His recent film Tusk came directly from this weed productivity agreement with self. He now claims to smoke “an acre of weed every morning,” and appears busier than ever — with seven directorial projects currently in motion.

As marijuana’s medicinal benefits continue to be studied and recognized, more doctors might consider its calming potential during moments of extreme bodily trauma. Regardless, we can bet that weed will factor more prominently than ever into Smith’s Jay and Silent Bob Get A Reboot, if we are ever fortunate enough to see it grace the screen.

[cover photo Kevin Smith Facebook]