Rodney King was an expert pot smoker ... and there's no way marijuana could have caused him to go off the hinges and act like a maniac on the night he died ... so say King's smoking buddies, who run his local weed dispensary.
Ever since investigators were pictured removing a cannabis plant from King's home this week, there have been suspicions that weed may have contributed to his death ... or at least caused Rodney to exhibit some bizarre behavior on the night he died ... including loud crying spells and banging on the windows of his home.
TMZ spoke with the people who run Arrow Alternative Remedies in San Bernardino, CA ... who tell us Rodney was a regular ... and even served as a celebrity "bud tender" during special events.
The pot people tell us ... "We used to smoke tons of weed with Rodney and not once was he too belligerent to function."
One pot pro also notes, "I never saw him come into the shop on alcohol or hard drugs."
"Honestly, he was a great guy and was starting to get back on track with his new book."
As TMZ first reported, Rodney died on Sunday ... but his legacy will live on in the pot shop -- where his old pals have already named a strain of weed after the guy ... "Rodney King OG."
Rodney King's Buds
He Was a Professional
6/22/2012 4:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
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