Rodney Dangerfield freely admits that a recent ENQUIRER report that he smoked a joint in a hospital’s intensive care unit is completely true. But he says he has a perfectly reasonable explanation: “My wife won’t let me get high at home!”

Two weeks ago we reported exclusively that Rodney’s wife Joan rushed the 80-year-old comic to Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica because he feared he was having a heart attack.

And he stunned hospital staffers by firing up a marijuana joint while changing his clothes in the ICU.

“Marijuana calms Rodney’s nerves,” said his spokesman Kevin Sasaki, who revealed that his office was flooded by calls — all of them positive — after The ENQUIRER story hit the stands.

“Everyone wanted to tell him, ‘You go, Rodney!’ He’s become a hero of sorts.

“Rodney has a medical history of heart problems. And he finds that smoking grass helps to lower his blood pressure. Right now, keeping his blood pressure low is an important part of Rodney’s life.”

The comic will even write about his love affair with pot in his upcoming memoir, “It Ain’t Easy Being Me,” Sasaki disclosed.

Rodney was released from the hospital when doctors determined that his chest pains were not life-threatening. But by that time he’d already given everyone around him a dose of his “medicine.”

“When hospital personnel complained of the smoke, Rodney thought it was a riot. He wanted everyone to join in the fun,” a source revealed.

“He told me he’s been toking up for nearly 50 years. He said, ‘I was a hippie long before hippies were born.’

“Rodney said he’s been rolling his own joints for ages now and he doesn’t intend to stop just because he’s a senior citizen.

“Smoking weed is something he’s not ashamed of or tries to hide.

“Though his doctors haven’t prescribed marijuana as part of his medical treatment, Rodney says he writes his own pot prescriptions.

“He told a friend, ‘It makes me feel good. What’s so wrong with a funnyman wanting to feel good?’

“Where pot is concerned, Rodney would rather kick the bucket than kick the habit!”