Jim Belushi on his new life as a pot farmer — and why he thinks cannabis could've saved his brother John's life

·Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment
·3 min read

Jim Belushi is no Seth Rogen or Snoop Dogg. Unlike those celebrity ganjapreneurs, it wasn’t a deep recreational buzz for smoking weed that led the 67-year-old According to Jim star into the cannabis biz. The 67-year-old even admits he’s a lightweight.

Belushi may not be on a mission from God, but you could probably call it a higher calling.

“It is the greatest medicine,” Belushi tells us in a new interview promoting the second season of his Discovery Channel series Growing Belushi (watch above), which playfully documents his new life as a cannabis farmer on the 93-acre land he owns in southwestern Oregon. “It gives you energy. It’s very creative.”

In fact, the comedic actor is so bullish about the medicinal power of marijuana that, both in the show and during our interview, stated that he believes his late brother, Saturday Night Live and Animal House great John Belushi, wouldn’t have died so young if he used cannabis. It’s a thought Jim credits to John’s Blues Brothers brother Dan Aykroyd.

“You know, he died of a drug overdose and I really think, Danny said it, if he was a pothead, he'd be alive. Because it's a great medicine. I believe he had CTE from playing football and I believe a lot of his behavior stemmed from that.” (John struggled with drug abuse as an adult and died from a combination of heroin and cocaine use in 1982.)

Jim Belushi in 'Growing Belushi' (Discovery)
Jim Belushi in Growing Belushi. (Photo: Discovery)

To start his Belushi’s Farm cannabis business, Jim partnered with his cousin Chris Karakosta and a legendary grower known as Captain Jack, famous for traveling to Afghanistan to procure special seeds and providing weed for the cast of SNL during its ‘70s heyday.

“He knew Danny through SNL cause he was the weed dealer for Danny and SNL,” Belushi says. “I swear Coneheads came outta this [weed], and all those crazy ideas.”

Season 1 of Growing Belushi depicted Jim’s sometimes strained relationship with Cousin Jack and Chris and an eventful jaunt to Colombia with Chris decreed by Aykroyd to find strains that they’ll use for their planned Blues Brothers products. (“Seasons” are a short-and-sweet three episodes, and though some of the scenes in the comedic reality show are clearly reenactments, Belushi insists they’re all events that really happened.)

The Blues Brothers “baby blues” — or “parking lot joints,” as Aykroyd calls them — become instantly popular, which takes us to Season 2 (premiering today). The farm can’t keep up with the demand for them.

Jim sees the Blues Brothers products as a way to honor John.

"You know, there's an old saying that goes like this. When you drink the water, remember the men or women who dug the well,” says Jim, who also became a player on SNL and whose film credits include K-9 (1989), Taking Care of Business (1990), Gang Related (1997) and Wonder Wheel (2017) — and who makes it clear he is still acting today.

“John dug the well for me. I'm drinking a lot of water. I mean, I'd be working at my dad's restaurant right now if it wasn't for John showing that there's another way, another profession. So John led a path for me that I've been enjoying this great life. And of course I honor him.”

Growing Belushi Season 2 premieres Wednesday, Jan. 19 on Discovery and Discovery+.

— Video produced by Anne Lilburn and edited by John Santo