Kathy Bates Finds Peace, With ‘Disjointed’ and Some Herbal Medicine

 In Lifestyle

Back in 2012, Kathy Bates lit up a cigar, spat out some salty zingers and won an Emmy for her guest role as the ghost of Charlie Harper in “Two and a Half Men,” the CBS sitcom cocreated by Chuck Lorre.

Now she’s lighting up again — only this time it’s reefer — as Ruth Whitefeather Feldman, the owner of a Southern California medical marijuana dispensary in “Disjointed,” Mr. Lorre’s new Netflix comedy, starting Friday, Aug. 25.

Created with David Javerbaum, a former late-night writer for Jon Stewart and James Corden, “Disjointed” pits Ruth’s tie-dyed activism against the business acumen of her son, Travis (Aaron Moten), a newly minted M.B.A. whose father is a Black Panther turned corporate lawyer for Big Pharma. Ruth wants to rail against the Man; Travis wants to grow their shop into the Walmart of cannabis.

Why would an Oscar-winning actress with four seasons of Ryan Murphy’s FX anthology “American Horror Story” on her résumé jump a prestige ship for a streaming sitcom? “David is so talented and Chuck has an amazing track record, so I decided to roll the dice with them,” Ms. Bates, 69, said in a call from Los Angeles. “I’m not stabbing or slicing anybody up. But there’s an intensity being in front of a live audience again that’s so much fun.” These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

So, do you smoke pot?

Yeah, I do. I’ve had a prescription for some time for chronic pain. I’ve really become a believer. I find it just as, if not more, effective than other pain relief. Originally, when I was going through breast cancer, my oncologist prescribed some, because my recovery was painful and the marijuana was a tremendous help. And now they have vape pens, which are a lot less caustic in terms of smoke. And since you can control the amount of your intake, you can smoke and be functional during the day — although I don’t smoke when I work. That to me is unprofessional.

And you support marijuana legalization?

I do and even more so now that I’ve become more educated about what its properties are. And you see how it’s helping people like the partner of our cannabis consultant, who has cerebral palsy, or the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition, a group of football players I met who were suffering from different head injuries and it helped them tremendously.

Read more at nytimes.com