‘Smok­ing pot on TV? It would be rude not to’

Easten­ders leg­end Pam St Cle­ment, 75, boards a ‘psy­che­delic bus’ with other celebs for a road trip with a dif­fer­ence

Closer (UK) - - Closer Tv - By Han­nah Wright

What can you tell us about Gone To Pot? I liked the idea of five peo­ple – whose faces are known but who are not in the first flush of youth – go­ing on a road trip to have fun, and see what hap­pens when you le­galise mar­i­juana in two states, Cal­i­for­nia and Colorado. This is a very im­por­tant sub­ject and I wanted to find out more about the pros and cons.

What ARE the ben­e­fits?

If it’s dis­pensed cor­rectly, and CBD (Cannabid­iol – the “non-high”) is dis­pensed cor­rectly, in bal­ance with THC (Te­trahy­dro­cannabi­nol – the “high”), I feel that med­i­cally it is a good thing. We heard so many sto­ries about how it helped with con­di­tions such as Parkin­son’s and MS, as well as help­ing chil­dren who have seizures.

You meet some peo­ple who be­lieve their health con­di­tions are eased by the drug…

We met a lady called Nonna, who was 90-some­thing. Her daugh­ter had suf­fered a ter­ri­ble car ac­ci­dent. The mar­i­juana got her through, and her won­der­ful mother was con­tin­u­ing to cook for peo­ple us­ing the drug to help them with their med­i­cal prob­lems. She also cooked for us…

What hap­pened?

Well, one of the down­sides of tak­ing mar­i­juana is it is very dif­fi­cult to gauge the quan­tity you should be putting in your food if you are go­ing to eat it. I was very cau­tious; I had a spoon­ful of rata­touille that didn’t have any­thing in, and half a spoon of a por­tion that was lethal. She then pro­duced this ice cream and we tucked in… I could say the group did ex­pe­ri­ence some ef­fects from it, yes – but I think this is best left to be in­trigued by when you see the pro­gramme.

You also spend time with Harry the Hippy?

We met up with him one morn­ing and he looked mod­er­ately stoned. He showed us the sights of San Fran­cisco, and in­vited us to a party in the evening. They were off their faces, to be hon­est, play­ing the bongo drums; it was all fright­fully 1960s. We sat there feel­ing out of place and then this lit­tle joint came round. Linda [Rob­son] and I looked at each other and went, “Ah well, go on. It would be rude not to!”

What are your own mem­o­ries of the swing­ing ’60s?

I cer­tainly wasn’t into hip­py­dom. I had smoked cannabis when I was younger – but so in­fre­quently I can’t re­mem­ber it.

Tell us about the “psy­che­delic bus” you toured around on…

It was ab­so­lutely bril­liant! It was rigged with cam­eras which were al­ways record­ing our thoughts. There were dif­fer­ences of opin­ion ev­ery day. I was the only per­son on the bus who said de­crim­i­nalise it now, be­cause I think it will en­able the most im­por­tant thing: re­search.

Since leav­ing Easten­ders (as Pat Butcher, in 2012 – briefly ap­pear­ing again last year), do you think peo­ple have seen be­yond the ear­rings?!

I’ve done three Ca­su­al­ties since then and a pe­riod piece in which I played a crooked vil­lain. Typecast­ing hasn’t been a prob­lem, strangely enough.

What did you miss most about home when film­ing in the US?

Fresh food that wasn’t sweet. I don’t want to knock Amer­ica, but re­ally, the diet is quite ex­tra­or­di­nary. And a de­cent cup of tea…

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