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Manny famous people from various fields have been known to use cannabis. Here are some well known cannabis users.

Cannabis Users Throughout History


In the world of politics, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and Abraham Lincoln were known for their involvement with cultivating or promoting cannabis in the form of hemp.

Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, the United States’ third and fifth presidents respectively, both served as U.S. ambassadors to France, where they each developed a liking for smoking hashish.

Lincoln enjoyed playing his harmonica, and in a letter from him to the maker of his musical instrument he once wrote, “Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe of sweet hemp and playing my Hohner harmonica.”

Since the days when Lincoln liked to pack a bowl, more recent United States presidents like John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama are known for their marijuana use.

Cannabis Use Among World Leaders

famous cannabis users

There were more English lords and royalty known for using it than can reasonably fit into this article, but one of the most notable was Queen Victoria, who might have been the world’s first medical cannabis user. Prescribed to her by her physician, the queen consumed it as a concentrate, in tincture form.

Apparently, it was somewhat common for British royalty to keep cannabis on hand for personal consumption and to share with friends.

In France, Hundred Years War heroine Joan of Arc was thought to use “witch herb,” the term used for marijuana when she was alive.

Numerous people in the visual arts are/were no strangers to the plant.

Both Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali were known users. Vincent Van Gogh used cannabis while he was painting, obviously finding creative inspiration in the plant that helped him transform paint and canvas into wildly swirling images.

Artists and Cannabis Use

Marijuana has a long history of use among writers of literature and poetry as well—and not only in modern times.

Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes mysteries; Lewis Carroll, author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; poet Robert Burns (who even mentions cannabis in a poem); poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (who also wrote Kubla Khan under the influence of opium); and French novelist Jules Verne.

American writers have an equally rich history with the plant. The list of cannabis-friendly Americans includes Tennessee Williams, Ernest Hemmingway, Norman Mailer, Maya Angelou, and Jack Kerouac. Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson and his contemporary Ken Kesey also share a long history of marijuana use—which should hardly surprise those who are familiar with their works.

Author Stephen King is on record for once saying, “I think that marijuana should not only be legal, I think it should be a cottage industry. It would be wonderful for the state of Maine. There’s some pretty good homegrown dope. I’m sure it would be even better if you could grow it with fertilizers and have greenhouses.”

Entertainers Use Cannabis Too

The list of rock stars who consume(d) cannabis is too long to list, particularly among artists of the ’60s and ’70s.

Marijuana use among jazz and blues musicians predates that of contemporary and past rockers. Jazz greats Louis Armstrong (a daily smoker), Buddy Rich, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Gene Krupa, Jimmy Dorsey, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, and Thelonious Monk all used cannabis.

Because marijuana consumption is known for giving people the giggles, it should come as no surprise that many comedians enjoy(ed) it.

Notable comedians who condone smoking cannabis, use it themselves, and even include its use in their acts, include greats like Dave Chapelle and Kevin Smith. But cannabis use among comedians goes back to even before the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Not only were Saturday Night Live and Second City greats like John Belushi and Bill Murray regular consumers, but comedians of earlier years like Jackie Gleason, Lenny Bruce, Joan Rivers, and Peter Sellers have a history of cannabis use.

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Relax… You're In Good Company

Even unlikely people like Martha Stewart, who once said, “Of course I know how to roll a joint!” is comfortable with its use—which may help explain her otherwise unlikely relationship with Snoop Dog.

There’s no denying it. When it comes to telling whether or not a person enjoys cannabis, you can’t judge a book by its cover!

Fred Hernandez - Cannabis industry expert writer
Fred Hernandez

Fred Hernandez is a highly accomplished and versatile writer, boasting an extensive background in the cannabis industry. With an in-depth understanding of various sectors including cultivators, processors, retailers, and brands, Fred's expertise spans across the entire cannabis landscape. As a prominent contributor to CTU, he consistently delivers insightful articles exploring the latest developments, news, and regulations shaping the cannabis industry. Whether it's delving into the intricacies of cannabis products, cannabis strain reviews, or providing comprehensive analyses of cannabis laws, or sharing expert insights on cannabis cultivation techniques, Fred's wealth of knowledge positions him as an invaluable writer and educator for all cannabis-related subjects.

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