Ever wonder about historical figures who smoked weed? We all hear anecdotal stories about former Presidents, public figures, scientists, writers and more who were avid marijuana enthusiasts. We all know that musicians and artists all have enjoyed marijuana for creativity and mind-expanding consciousness. But it seems that the subject still remains interesting as we look back, particularly knowing that cannabis was banned in the United States for the majority of the 20th century. Government and private sector campaigns promoting the “dangers” of smoking weed were prevalent, and this propaganda brought the entire industry underground. Fortunately, marijuana laws have started to relax over the past couple of decades and legalization in most states already has taken place. This has allowed an increasing number of Americans to take advantage of legalized weed and enjoy the many benefits of this special plant.
Weed advocates continue to fight for increased marijuana education and accessibility for people all over the country. There are several celebrity figures who proudly support cannabis legislation, like Mike Tyson, Snoop Dogg and many artists and public figures.
But did you know that there have also been several famous historical figures who admit to smoking weed?
Marijuana has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties and was even sold in American pharmacies in the early 20th century. This went on up until the US government enacted a ban in 1937 prohibiting the possession and sale of marijuana for recreational uses. In 1970, the government outlawed weed completely and no longer permitted its use for medicinal purposes.
In 1996, California reintroduced medical marijuana to residents. Over the next several decades, dozens of other states approved medical marijuana, and many have now approved recreational weed use. The majority of the country has at the very least decriminalized the possession of small amounts of weed.
It is believed that John F. Kennedy may have smoked weed to alleviate chronic back pain while he was in the White House. According to a retired history professor who knew the President, the President often smoked weed with his mistress(es) and for chronic pain. Some people doubt the validity of these claims, but it seems that most folks believe it to be true.
Well, sometimes we have to go back a bit to make a point (even a speculative one!). The village where Joan of Arc grew up was famous for its medicinal herbs, including cannabis. Most historians assume that Joan of Arc probably experimented with cannabis at some point during her youth. Yes, we know. It’s a bit of a stretch. But we are willing to go with it!
Arguably the most world renowned playwright of all time, William Shakespeare is also believed to have enjoyed smoking cannabis. There are several hints throughout his work that have led many people to this conclusion. It has been reported that residue from cannabis was found inside the writer’s home after his death.
George Washington is another strong believer in the strong medical properties of weed. The nation’s first president was reported to have grown hemp on his farm. Many of the Founding Fathers were advocates for hemp and cannabis and grew the plant. Benjamin Franklin, who suffered from epileptic seizures (which he referred to in his writings as “storms”), is thought to have used cannabis to try to control his seizures. Hundreds of years later, CBD and THC are both among the most promising (and utilized) medicines for seizure control, particularly in children.
Famous French author Alexandre Dumas, he of the “Count of Monte Cristo” among other famous novels, was well-known for his love of the cannabis flower. Dumas was even said to have arranged meetings with other weed enthusiasts to experiment with new strains.
Queen Elizabeth I strongly believed in the medicinal value of the cannabis plant. Her doctor is thought through oral history to have prescribed a THC-based tincture to help alleviate painful menstrual cramps. Some people have reported that the Queen would also serve weed to party guests. Less of a stretch than Joan of Arc…
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