Famous People in Historical Cannabis Users

Updated: Apr 12

We all know that marijuana has been around for centuries – even millennia. But for some newer patients and users, there are dozens of famous historical people who have partaken in the herb. Some are fans of hemp; some used CBD oils and tinctures; and some even where (still are?) total stoners! Some of these on the list you might have already heard about, but some might be a total surprise.

As medical marijuana is gaining acceptance and new patients are experiencing the awesome benefits of weed, knowing some other historical figures is a fun part of MJ culture, but also knowing famous cannabis partakers can also help you if you need to speak to your family or friends about taking medical marijuana. Read through the list and stay tuned for a future post on how to speak to friends and family. For now, have fun with our top list of historical cannabis users!

cartoon of william shakespeare

Our Founding Fathers – The most American of Americans: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Benjamin Franklin all grew hemp on their properties and were strong proponents of its industrial uses. Other than Franklin, there is no concrete evidence that the others actually smoked weed, but it seems reasonable that they might have. After all, George Washington did have those wooden teeth that are reputed to have been extremely uncomfortable and a little weed would’ve taken the edge off! But alas, the only Founding Father to have smoke MJ was Franklin. He reported said that there was nothing better then rocking in a chair on his porch while smoking the ‘sweet hemp’.

William Shakespeare – The stiff looking image of Shakespeare that most of have really doesn’t tell the real story of what a cool dude he was! Not only was he super suave with the ladies, he was known as a jokester and later, in 2015, researched determined that he might well have been a pot smoker. It seems that several pipes that were excavated on his property had residue that was to have the same chemical make up as marijuana. Not only that, his lesser-known play ‘A Country Controversy’ talks of an herb ‘that which maketh time itself wither with sondering’ … which some say is a cryptic description of MJ.

Queen Victoria – One of the longest reigning monarchs of the United Kingdom (and other territories at the time), Queen Victoria used cannabis tinctures for her menstrual cramps and pregnancy pains. This is not surprising since cannabis tinctures were very popular at the time in the 19th century and could be purchased in apothecaries with a doctor’s prescription. With nine children and several other pregnancies that did not make to term spanning 17 years, it’s even less of a surprise that this beloved queen needed something to help with discomfort.

Robert Mitchum – From the Golden Age of Hollywood, Robert Mitchum is one of the original bad asses and one of the first celebrities to be open – very open – with his marijuana usage. Maybe a little too open because in 1948, long before any kind of positive marijuana movement, Mitchum was arrested, convicted and jailed for marijuana possession. After serving 3 months, Mitchum went back to unabashedly smoking the herb. At the time there were virtually no celebrities – let alone rich white men – who were open about smoking marijuana.

Ben and Jerry – Taking one look at this Vermont-based ice cream mogul duo and it’s no surprise they are marijuana tokers. With ice cream flavors like Jerry Garcia and Half-Baked, it’s pretty well known that these two are marijuana users. But it’s their advocacy for justice and equality with marijuana-related criminality that makes them awesome celebrities who partake.

They open acknowledge on their website that legalization without justice is not enough and that being white in the age of medical marijuana is an advantage. They offer links to articles, support pages and ways to take action with congressional representatives to help move the legalization and justice needle to be fair and equal for everyone. We can all raise our pint tubs of B&J’s for that!

Surprising supporters

Some folks who support marijuana might surprise you. We’re not sure if these people actually smoke or partake in cannabis, but they all support at least decriminalization.

Roger Stone – It seems like decades ago this funny looking advisor to the previous president was making news (good or bad) but it might surprise you to know that Mr. Stone was advising the previous president to back legal weed. Unfortunately, his ties to the tarnished administration and subsequent legal problems have made him persona non grata in the legal weed movement circles; he’s been kicked off speakers lists and uninvited to several events that support legalizing marijuana. Seems like ‘birds of a feather’ overrides even Mr. Stone’s support of legal weed.

The Koch Brothers – Mega conservative political donors, the Koch Brothers are just as controversial as Roger Stone and it’s equally surprising that this brother duo support anything that doesn’t immediately serve their bottom line, but the Koch Brothers are proponents of decriminalization of weed and also support medical marijuana legalization at the federal level.


There are many more celebrities, famous historical people and politicians who smoke weed but these are some of the most important – and surprising! – supporters. The more states legalization medical and recreational weed, we’ll surely hear of more.

Stay tuned for our upcoming post on how to talk to your family and friends about using medical marijuana and keep this list handy to let them know of famous people who have use, grow and/or support its usage.

Until then – happy partaking!

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