By Stephen M. Silverman
October 08, 2002 12:00 PM

It seems that rapper Snoop Dogg is on an active campaign to clean up his druggie image.

The musician, 31 (to whom a marijuana joint was as common as a white glove was to Michael Jackson) tells TV’s “Access Hollywood” that he “just woke up one morning” and decided he “didn’t need it anymore.”

As further incentive, he said, kicking the habit is his way to “get back to being Snoop Dogg.”

That’s quite a statement for Snoop (real name: Calvin Broadus), whose recent concert tours have carried such titles as “Up In Smoke” and “Puff, Puff, Pass” — and who, over the past couple of years, has been in and out of trouble with the law thanks to marijuana busts.

His close association with the drug may also have been one of the reasons that his brief cameo appearance in the made-for-TV movie “It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie” has been cut from the version set to air on NBC in December — though a statement from the Jim Henson Company cites “production reasons” for the cut, as well as a need to edit “several scenes originally planned for the movie which did not advance its storyline.”

At the time of the Henson Company announcement last month, however, points out that the national civil-rights group Project Islamic Hope actively campaigned against the rapper, who has appeared in porn videos and whose lyrics are rife with gang violence and drug use.

Compounding the argument against Snoop, Project Islamic Hope argued — successfully, it seems — that the Muppet movies are geared toward children.

But that was then. This is now. And Snoop Dogg says he is breathing and thinking clearly.

Every minute you smoke marijuana, he tells “Access Hollywood,” you’re “taking a minute off your life that you could have been here doing something special.”