11 US Presidents Who Smoked Marijuana
While we’re really sure about the last three presidents’ history of pot smoking, the historical record is unclear about some of the rest. Here’s a look at the tokers and anti-tokers in the White House.
YES #44 – Barack Obama:
The current president wrote about his cocaine and marijuana use as a youth in Hawaii and famously said, “When I was a kid, I inhaled, frequently. That was the point,” when running for president in 2008.
YES #43 – George W. Bush:
Dubya was known as a cocaine user in his younger days, but he would never respond to questions about his marijuana use. Later, he told his biographer, Douglas Wead (yes, pronounced like “weed”), “I wouldn’t answer the marijuana questions. You know why? Because I don’t want some little kid doing what I tried.”
YES #42 – Bill Clinton:
Slick Willie famously said, “When I was in England, I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn’t like it. I didn’t inhale and never tried it again,” when asked about his marijuana use. In true Clintonian fashion, he may have been telling the truth. The late Christopher Hitchens, who attended Oxford with Clinton, said Bill had an affinity for pot brownies, so he may not have ever tried “it” (inhaling) ever again.
NO #41 – George H. W. Bush:
It’s probably safe to say Poppy Bush never touched a reefer. He is the president who brought us the Drug Czar’s office and closed off the experimental federal medical marijuana program when AIDS victims started applying en masse. On the “scourge” of drugs, Bush specifically called for “intolerance” of drug users and prophetically announced that “Some think there won’t be room for them in jail. We’ll make room.”
NO #40 – Ronald Reagan:
Given that he died from Alzheimer’s disease, it is a shame the Gipper wasn’t able to embrace the cannabis medicine that could have protected his brain. Not that he would have used it, since Reagan told us, “I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast.”
NO, BUT… #39 – Jimmy Carter:
Jimmy Carter says he’s never smoked pot, but there’s no doubt his son Chip did on the roof of the White House with Willie Nelson. Still, Carter was the most progressive president on pot in the War on Drugs era, telling Congress, “I support legislation amending Federal law to eliminate all Federal criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.”
NO #37 – Richard Nixon:
Tricky Dick is the one who brought us this War on Drugs in the first place. The Nixon Tapes are replete with Nixon’s mix of irrational hatred of marijuana and non-white races and ethnicities, with quotes like, “I want a Goddamn strong statement on marijuana, I mean one that just tears the ass out of them. You know, it’s a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish.”
YES #35 – John F. Kennedy:
JFK used marijuana to deal with severe back pain, according to a few written accounts, including “John F. Kennedy: A Biography”, which described this White House scene: “On the evening of July 16, 1962, according to [Washington Post executive] Jim Truitt, Kennedy and Mary Meyer smoked marijuana together. … The president smoked three of the six joints Mary brought to him. At first he felt no effects. Then he closed his eyes and refused a fourth joint. ‘Suppose the Russians did something now,’ he said.”
From President #17 Andrew Johnson to President #34 Dwight Eisenhower, we have almost nothing in the way of historical record of presidents smoking pot. Pre-Civil War America was a land of hemp farmers and slaves who could commonly roll up some hemp leaf as a smoke. Post-Civil War America heralded the development of pre-rolled tobacco cigarettes and prejudice against the Mexican immigrants who smoked “marihuana”. Cannabis was becoming a patent medicine, so perhaps some presidents used it in that fashion. But by the turn of the 20 th century, the temperance movement was in full swing and states were beginning to prohibit cannabis. Pot smoking is not likely to be something the late 19 th and early 20 th century presidents wanted recorded for posterity, if they did it at all.
NO #16 – Abraham Lincoln:
The internet abounds with people claiming Honest Abe loved “a pipe of sweet hemp, and playing my Hohner harmonica.” Hohner didn’t make harmonicas until two years after the alleged quote and didn’t export them to America from Germany until 1868, four years after Abe’s assassination. Also, that oft-cited “Prohibition… goes beyond the bound of reason…” Lincoln quote? It’s a fake, written by a former mayor of Atlanta in 1922 to court black voters to oppose alcohol prohibition. That doesn’t necessarily mean Lincoln didn’t partake; we just have no proof that he did.
YES #14 – Franklin Pierce:
One of three military men to become president who enjoyed smoking marijuana with the troops fighting the Mexican-American War. In a letter to his family, Pierce wrote that marijuana smoking was “about the only good thing” about the war.
YES #12 – Zachary Taylor:
Another of the three military men who smoked marijuana with the troops.
YES #7 – Andrew Jackson:
Third of the three military men whose letters referred to smoking marijuana with the troops.
YES #5 – James Monroe:
Openly smoked hashish while he was Ambassador to France and continued smoking it until his death at age 73.
YES #4 – James Madison:
The “Father of the Constitution” claimed that hemp gave him the insight to create a new democratic nation.
YES #3 – Thomas Jefferson:
In addition to farming hemp, Jefferson was Ambassador to France during the hashish era there. At risk of imprisonment if caught, Jefferson smuggled hemp seeds from China known for their potency to America. However, as far as our research takes us, he never said or wrote, “Some of my finest hours have been spent sitting on my back veranda, smoking hemp and observing as far as my eye can see.”
YES #1 – George Washington:
The father of our country kept meticulous diaries, wherein he noted “Sowed hemp at muddy hole by swamp” away from the hemp he grew for fiber. “Began to separate the male from female plants at do [sic –rather too late” and “Pulling up the (male) hemp. Was too late for the blossom hemp by three weeks or a month” indicates he was going for female plants with higher THC content. There is also indication he used hemp preparations to deal with his toothaches.
While we’re really sure about the last three presidents’ history of pot smoking, the historical record is unclear about some of the rest. Here’s a look at the
Famous Potheads (included U.S. Presidents That Smoked Weed)
San Francisco doesn’t smell like the sea, it smells like marijuana. It’s in the air at any time of day. People are smoking right in the streets, just a stone’s throw from the cops. At any moment they can come up and ask to see a medical permission, but it’s not a problem to get it – you have to go to a special “green” doctor, complain about insomnia, migraine or anxiety and pay $50.
Perhaps soon marijuana will be sold in open and California – the issue will be resolved after the November referendum. The same votes will be held in Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Maine. Three other states (Florida, Missouri, and Arkansas) will vote on legalizing medical marijuana.
The year 2016 is called a turning point for legal marijuana all over the world. Besides the USA, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Australia, and Austria introduce or are considering legislative changes. And we are going to tell the stories of American and European businessmen, politicians and evangelists who have already taken the pot out of the dark pockets in the Valley’s venture fund portfolios.
Calvin Cordosar Brodus Jr. (Snoop Dogg)
Today Snoop Dogg is not only a hip-hop icon but also the face of the marijuana industry. Many American celebrities popularize weed (like Rihanna, Woody Harrelson or Whoopi Goldberg), but nobody does it with such a scale as a rapper.
Snoop Dogg created his own brand of Leafs by Snoop marijuana by ordering decoration from Pentagram, the legendary design studio that developed the signature styles of Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany, Citibank and Harley-Davidson.
With this marijuana service, Snoop Dogga looks like handmade chocolate and environmentally friendly cosmetics. Chocolate, by the way, is a part of the product line of “the first mainstream marijuana brand” (Snoop Dogg himself modestly calls his brainchild) – along with lollipops, chewing gum and sweets, which are sold for $18 in Colorado dispensaries. The main product, Leafs by Snoop, costs $275 an ounce (28.35 g).
Snoop’s other “green” project is the Casa Verde Capital venture fund (“Green House Money”), which has invested in two large start-ups: about $1 million was received by FunkSac, a manufacturer of odor-tight and child-friendly packages, and an unknown amount (part of the $10 million first-round investment) was received by Eaze, a delivery service called the “marijuana cleaning”.
Another rapper founded the online edition of Merry Jane, which tells whether it is safe to smoke during pregnancy, what dishes are combined with weed, and answers other important questions. The slogan is: “Culture. Marijuana. For everyone.”
Steve Dangelo has been fighting for the legalization of marijuana for 40 years (“I understood my mission early in life: some children learn to play the violin, I chose marijuana”) and managed to try himself in many roles – political activist, underground trader, model entrepreneur, an advocate of small business rights, investor and educator. He began with annual weed consumer gatherings in front of the White House on Independence Day, and today he is revered as the “father of legal marijuana”.
Dangelo really does have a lot of credit to the industry. In 2006, he created the model dispensary (licensed medical marijuana store) Harborside Health Center, which has grown into the world’s largest network with annual sales of $25 million and 220,000 customers. In 2007, he founded Steep Hill Labs, California’s first marijuana quality and safety testing lab, and in 2010, The ArcView Group, a group of 550 business people who by 2016 had invested more than $70 million in start-ups like MassRoots and Auntie Dolores.
Now Dangelo is actively defending the interests of small businesses in the industry and educating those who want to join, actively sharing his experience: in 2015 he published a book, “Hemp Manifesto”, which explains why marijuana is useful and how to sell it by law.
When Christopher Columbus sailed to the New World, he really took a lot of hemp seeds with him. The fact is that this plant was important (except smoking) for navigation: from hemp could make ropes, used to connect the boards, oil derived from hemp, used in lamps, seeds were used for food and could be used to grow crops.
John Kennedy is the 35th president of the United States and one of the eleven US presidents to conduct experiments with marijuana. John Kennedy used to smoke marijuana to relieve back pain, and in some cases smoked it for pleasure. This is evidenced by several written sources, including the President’s autobiography itself, which describes one of the scenes in the White House: “On the evening of July 16, 1962, referring to the head of the Washington Post – Jim Truite, Kennedy and Meyer smoked marijuana together … He smoked 3 of the 6 joints that she brought him, but did not feel any effect. Later he closed his eyes and refused to smoke the fourth joint. Then suddenly he said: Suppose the Russians did something now…”
“Nasty Billie” confessed in one of his interviews: “When I was in England, I tried marijuana once or twice, and frankly speaking, I did not like it. I didn’t even inhale, and I never tried it again”. No one knows, maybe Clinton wasn’t lying. However, later, Christopher Hitchens, who went to Oxford with Clinton, told that he was addicted to chocolate muffins with marijuana, so he probably never inhaled.
William Shakespeare – the greatest English-speaking playwright in the world, it is likely that he smoked a lot of marijuana. Traces of cannabis were found in the pipe of a seventeenth-century house where Shakespeare once lived. Also 24 pipes were found that once belonged to Shakespeare, 8 of which contained traces of marijuana.
Queen Elizabeth I
Queen Elizabeth I was a big fan of marijuana. In 1563 she issued a decree to fine farmers who owned more than 60 acres of land and did not grow cannabis. At the palace, she used marijuana for parties and also praised its medicinal qualities.
Jeanne D’Arc is a famous French national figure. It is quite possible that the visions and voices she saw could have been caused by hallucinations when smoking marijuana. It is known that the village where she was born was known for its medicinal herbs, it is quite possible that Jeanne D’Arc could have experimented with different plants, including hemp. During the prosecution, it was indicted that she could use herbs and hemp in witchcraft, more precisely, that in a state of dope from “medicinal” herbs, she heard different voices, and some of them counted as the voices of God.
One of the creators of “The View” has long been a fan of marijuana and now uses medical cannabis to treat glaucoma. She believes that this drug should be legalized. Born to Carin Elaine Johnson, Whoopi is known for her stands as well as roles in The Purple Flowers and Ghost.
Goldberg is one of the few actresses who can call herself “EGOT” – she won the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. Also, Whoopi was the executive producer of the popular television game “Simple as Easy” from 1998 to 2004.
For Rooney, an evening relaxation with a cigarette in hand is more of a moment’s bliss than a persistent bad habit. Yeah, Wayne’s been spotted in British brothels a lot more than smokers. But still, Shrek was repeatedly hit by a paparazzi lens with a smoking cigarette butt in its hand.
A loud scandal broke out right after the 2010 World Cup. A photographer of the British yellow newspaper “Sun” captured Rooney at the most inopportune moment: the attacker of the “red devils”, coming out of the bar, smoked a cigarette. Two years later, Wayne was caught smokin’ by the pool: that same evening, he and the company had planted 250 pounds for a drink, and Rooney himself was peeing right outside. Funny character!
In 1999, Matthew McConaughey was arrested for smoking marijuana. When the police arrived, they caught an actor naked playing bongos. Guess the weed he smoked wasn’t wasted. McConaughey started his career in 1993, starring in “Dazed and Confused.” Most likely, he didn’t have to go into character for long.
In fact, this list can go on forever and you will surely find your idol in it. And that’s no surprise because in 1996 California became the first state to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Since then, 24 other states have made the same decision. In Wyoming and Colorado since 2014 any adult citizen can buy weed without prescription – these states legalized recreational marijuana, and THC edibles, just visit your favourite dispensaries.
Do you want to know famous weed smokers? In this article, we are going to tell the stories of American and European businessmen, politicians, celebrities who smoke weed and famous potheads in history.