Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk is known for tackling tough subjects head-on, and this badass mom doesn’t just take a no-nonsense approach to her interview subjects. Daughter Willow Smith came on her mom’s show this week, which focused on addiction amid the COVID-19 pandemic, to talk about her choice to stop using marijuana (or, as her mom put it, “decided to curb her excessive weed smoking”). Jada and Willow’s ability to have a matter-of-fact conversation about marijuana — and Jada’s respectful but honest treatment of Willow when she did believe she was using too much marijuana — was a seriously impressive display of mutual respect, and we’re so proud of both sides of this mother-daughter duo.
While Willow had been smoking marijuana socially and at home for years, she decided to renegotiate that relationship about three months ago. The first step she took was throwing out all her smoking materials to make it harder for herself to pick it back up — and pretty soon, she started to notice some changes.
“When I stopped smoking it was a really big eye-opener,” she admitted. “There are so many people that I called friends in my life who just kind of like [drifted away]. It really made me think like, ‘This is really interesting.'”
In addition to realizing how much of a role marijuana had played in her friendships, Willow found a new sense of accountability within herself when she didn’t have marijuana to turn to.
“I know this sounds cheesy but around the time I stopped smoking, I started doing a lot of yoga and I just excelled because I was putting all of my energy into that, I wasn’t doing anything else,” she explained. “And I was like, ‘Wow, what if I was doing this with everything?’ And then it really made me think, ‘What have I been missing? What have I been not putting my all into or not putting all of my brain power into?'”
Jada is nothing but proud of her daughter for coming to this realization, and especially for coming to it on her own. Both mom and daughter talk about how Jada would express her disapproval of Willow’s “excessive” smoking: by expressing her opinion that it was too much, and then leaving Willow to make her own decisions.
You always were telling me, you’d be like, ‘gotta stop that smoking!'” Willow recalled, as she and her mom laughed.
“That’s only because, as your mother, I could see the effects of it that you couldn’t,” Jada said, noting that her family history of addiction also made her uneasy about Willow’s recreational use. “All [I] could think about was that it’s a gate to something else.”
Willow and Jada both make it clear that they’re by no means anti-marijuana. “I do think that that plant can be helpful,” Jada affirmed, and Willow assured viewers that she knew her personal experience with marijuana wasn’t everyone’s.
“For some people, marijuana doesn’t affect them like now I see it affected me,” she said. “It is a medicine for a lot of people and it raises quality of life for a lot of people.”
With a mom like Jada, it’s not surprising that Willow grew up so in tune with her emotions and able to articulate them so clearly. But still: not many 19-year-olds would be this open about marijuana use with their parents, and Jada being receptive clearly played a huge role in Willow being able to figure out her own relationship to it without judgment. And that’s a huge, huge accomplishment.
Before you go, check out these celebrities who have bravely spoken out about their struggles with addiction.