“I do like weed,” Kirsten Dunst has told a reporter for Live magazine. “I think America’s view on weed is ridiculous. I mean, are you kidding me? If everyone smoked weed, the world would be a better place.”

She’s right, for the most part. Pot is an influencer and molder of one’s spiritual outlook, attitude, philosophy, etc., and it does tend to expose the user to intrigues and fascinations that a beer-head would never consider, much less explore. Plus potheads tend to be cooler, funnier, friendlier. (Well, mostly.) I was totally on the side of Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe and the potheads in Platoon, and against the Jack Daniels brigade — Tom Berenger, Kevin Dillon, et. al.

But every heavy pot-user I’ve ever known has had this aura of passive divorcement from life’s rough-and-tumble — some seem to watch way too much TV or have trouble getting their career started if they’re into it too heavily. While alcohol abuse obviously ruins people’s lives and causes much more grief and pain than pot, people who prefer wine or beer or even hard stuff on the rocks in the evening are a little bit more organized and aggressive and down-to-it.

Of course, tea and water and juices and an occasional Lemon Coke (which you can only get in Europe these days) are probably the best libations of all since drinking them to excess won’t hurt you. (I’m boring myself as I write this.) Alcohol and pot have to be absorbed in moderation, and tens of millions obviously have problems with that concept. As Sterling Hayden (who loved to smoke hash) once told me, “The hard thing is to hold that middle ground….hold that middle ground.”