The Heather effect

by NADIA COHEN, Daily Mail

Sir Paul McCartney told yesterday how his relationship with fiancee Heather Mills has led him to cut back drastically on smoking marijuana.

The singer, whose remarks will surprise those who thought his fondness for illegal drugs was far behind him, revealed he still dabbles with marijuana in comments welcoming the recent easing of drug laws.

'I think it's a good idea,' he said. 'But it just happens to coincide with a period when pot isn't something I do as much any more. Why is that? Because Heather doesn't.'

Sir Paul, 59, added: 'I don't want to be sitting there at a restaurant and say, "Hey, baby, I just have to run to the bog and smoke a joint". It just doesn't occur.'

Yesterday's revelation of minor marijuana use is unlikely to have consequences as dramatic as those triggered by the former Beatle's previous drug escapades.

In 1981, he endured nine days alone in a prison cell after being arrested taking 8oz of marijuana into Japan during a tour with his band, Wings.

The star explained recently: 'I kept thinking, "What have I done to my family?" I was thrown into nine days of turmoil. It was very, very scary.'

His arrest led to the end of Wings and a £1million compensation bill for the tour's cancellation.

He also told how his late wife Linda helped him beat a year-long addiction to cocaine.

'I just got into the habit, like you do, and you don't even think, "Is this a good idea?" It's just what you do,' he said.

'I was lucky to have Linda because she did ground me. She reminded me there was this real life out there that I liked a lot.'

In yesterday's interview with The Independent newspaper, Sir Paul also told how the conflict in Afghanistan had tested his longheld pacifist beliefs and he now found himself supporting the war.

'Normally you're a pacifist and you don't want any kind of war at all, but occasionally something so atrocious happens there's gotta be some kind of response,' he said. 'I'd like to see the bombing stop but what are you gonna do? Turn the other cheek? I don't think that is possible.

'After the New York attack my attitude was like, screw you man, just screw you.

'I've got kids living in London. Are you gonna do a bombing campaign? How dare you? If you want to take my kids out - well screw you. Come and talk about it right in my face, baby.'

Sir Paul, a vegetarian and animal rights campaigner, also revealed how, as a child, he would torture and kill frogs.

'We all dreaded National Service back then,' he said. 'When I saw army films of guys running into dummies and bayoneting them I had a vivid enough imagination to go, "OK that's what I'm gonna have to do". The whole idea of the frogs was: Let's practise.'

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