What Age Is "Too Old" To Smoke Pot?

Despite an admitted love of stoner comedies — starring in one (Your Highness), and developing another (Best Buds, about "a marijuana-laced road trip") with her production company — Natalie Portman tells Entertainment Weekly, "I smoked weed in college, but I haven't smoked in years. I'm too old. I wish I was that cool, but I'm like an old lady now." She's 29.

There seems to be this unspoken general understanding that there's an age limit, however indeterminate, to smoking pot. Despite its waning stigma, it's often featured in a positive light in pop culture like in television shows such as Bored to Death and Six Feet Under, as well as in films like Pineapple Express and It's Complicated (the latter of which received a tougher MPAA rating for not showing any negative consequences of getting stoned). In 2009, Marie Claire ran an article titled "Stiletto Stoners", a look at the successful, career-minded, upwardly mobile women who smoke weed to unwind in the same way that people would drink a few glasses of wine (but without the pesky hangover). In fact, Syracuse University pop culture professor Robert Thompson compares weed's social acceptability to alcohol. Plus, studies show that alcohol is more damaging to the body and brain than marijuana.

But there will never be mainstream acceptance of adults recreationally smoking pot so long as it's illegal (a fact which is increasingly easy to forget), making it a much riskier practice when you're a grownup with grownup responsibilities, obviously, than when you're younger and have much less — if anything — to lose if you get busted for possession. And this is particularly true for parents, who either abstain to be totally on the safe side or treat their weed-smoking as a secret out of fear that they'll be considered unfit parents. (Although a few brave moms blazed some trails—along with their bud—when they appeared on The Tyra Show to talk about how they like to chill out with a bowl or two after a long, hard day of child-rearing.)

No matter what her reasons are for not smoking pot, Natalie Portman is decidedly not an "old lady." She's just a square. And frankly, no one is ever too old to sit around and spend a lot of time laughing with their friends.