Martin Lawrence says he's weeding out his bad-boy behavior. He tells USA Today that he no longer smokes marijuana, which he blames for several widely-reported incidents of odd and dangerous behavior over the last few years. ''There were times I could function, and there were times when I was hanging with Gazoo from 'The Flintstones,''' he says. ''Now if that's bad, I guess I was hiiiigh.''
Lawrence has made headlines for such incidents as ranting at drivers on a busy street while carrying a loaded gun, taking a loaded gun to the airport, getting into a nightclub brawl, and falling into a three-day coma after jogging on a 100-degree day while wearing layers of heavy clothing. He says that near-death experience three years ago inspired him to go straight. ''Even though I went into a coma, as traumatic as it was, I feel like God laid me down and woke me up again to really help me see a little more clearly than I was before the coma,'' the 37-year-old comic says.
He acknowledges that mental illness may have played a role in these incidents too, though he denies rumors that he is bipolar. ''I ain't never been told that,'' he says. ''Now, if you're saying is there a time when I've been treated for depression, then yeah, but no longer.''
Lawrence discusses his tabloid scandals in ''Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat,'' his second concert feature film, which opens Aug. 2, joking that he wanted to tell all onstage rather than wait for ''The E! True Hollywood Story'' to do it for him. ''This is somebody who's gone through some trials and tribulations in their life, which we all go through. But I was just able to talk about it in a form in which I make people laugh. It's the American dream to be down and get up.''