Miley Cyrus says she thinks "alcohol is way more dangerous than marijuana" and that she is "happy to live in California," where medicinal cannabis is legal, in comments made to Rolling Stone more than two years after she drew controversy over a video that showed her smoking out of a bong.
The clip was posted in December 2010, just a month after her Disney Channel series, "Hannah Montana," ended after four seasons. Sources close to Cyrus said the then-18-year-old star was smoking the hallucinogenic herb salvia, which is legal in California. The actress and pop star later told Marie Claire magazine she "made a mistake," adding: "I'm disappointed in myself for disappointing my fans."
Fast forward to the present: Cyrus, now 20 and sporting a fresh, edgier look, complete with an platinum, pixie haircut. She recently released a new song and video with cannabis aficionado Snoop Dogg -- also known as Snoop Lion -- and in press interviews, appears more eager to speak her mind.
"I did a song with Snoop Dogg called 'Ashtrays and Heartbreaks,' so people can put it together for themselves," Cyrus told Rolling Stone in an interview published in the magazine's July 4 issue, when asked whether she smokes pot. "I think alcohol is way more dangerous than marijuana -- people can be mad at me for saying that, but I don't care. I've seen a lot of people spiral down with alcohol, but I've never seen that happen with weed."
"As long as it isn't illegal, there are far more dangerous things. And it's legal in the state of California. So I'm happy to live in California, a place where you can be whoever you want to be."
California state law allows people to use cannabis for medical purposes with a doctor's prescription, while federal law deems it illegal, a contradiction that occasionally leads to government raids of pot dispenseries. There are about a handful located less than a mile from Cyrus' home in Los Angeles and more than 1,000 scattered all over the state.
Researchers continue to study the long-term effects of both alcohol and cannabis. Usage of either substance can impair driving. Some 80,000 people die every year in the country due to excessive alcohol use, which is the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There have been no reports of deaths stemming solely from marijuana overdoses in the United States, according to the Justice Department.
Cyrus is currently promoting her latest single, "We Can't Stop" and released a risque music video for it earlier this week. Check out more details.
(Pictured above: Miley Cyrus talks to OTRC.com at the Maxim Hot 100 women event on May 16, 2013. She was deemed the magazine's "Hottest Woman." Click on the image to watch her interview.)