Clint Eastwood won his lawsuit against companies who falsely claimed he endorsed their CBD products. But the suit he lost – defamation – is more telling

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A California judge made Clint Eastwood’s day by awarding him a fistful of dollars – some $6M – by ruling in his favor in his lawsuit against a number of companies who falsely claimed that he endorsed their CBD products.

And in a case of life imitating art, one of Mr. Eastwood’s lawyers said after the decision, “In pursuing this case, and obtaining this judgment, Mr. Eastwood has again demonstrated a willingness to confront wrongdoing and hold accountable those who try to illegally profit off his name, likeness, and goodwill.”

Okay! But here’s the interesting part: There was a second parallel lawsuit in which Eastwood did not prevail – a claim of defamation. The idea that being (falsely) associated with CBD would hurt his reputation; that people would think less of him.

Not so fast, said Judge Robert Klausner of United States District Court for the Central District of California. True, Eastwood had nothing to do with CBD products, said Klausner, but “It requires additional context to understand what CBD products are and why a person like Clint Eastwood would not endorse a marijuana-based product,” adding that the association “was not [defamatory] on its face.”

Translation: What’s so bad about CBD? In fact, according to Pew, 91% of the American public think cannabis should be legal for medical use. Exactly the reason the vast majority of people use CBD in the first place; for pain & inflammation, anxiety & stress, sleep & insomnia, arthritis, depression, and headaches & migraines, in that order.

In would be easy to chalk up Clint Eastwood’s positon on CBD to his age, 91. But Judge Klausner, at age 80, and appointed to the bench by George W Bush in 2002, is no spring chicken himself – and he got it exactly right.

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