But not every beloved pothead lives in the present day. History is littered with important people who loved weed. Here are the five historical figures that we wish we could toke with.
Did Napoleon Bonaparte smoke weed? We can’t really know for sure, but he definitely came into contact with the drug.
Hashish was widely used in North Africa at this time. Napoleon’s troops came across hashish – a concentrated form of cannabis – during a campaign in Egypt.
The soldiers brought some of the hash back to France with them. From there, it quietly spread across Europe. Hashish is still the preferred from of marijuana in much of the continent.
Weed was more than a recreational drug for the reggae artist – much more. For Bob Marley and his fellow Rastafaris, pot was a religious tool, a door to the divine.
The drug is also a central part of Marley’s music and the culture that created it. Jamaica, his home, has long tolerated marijuana use, and the island is famous for its locally cultivated weed.
Marley died of a rare cancer in 1981 at the age of 36. But his music went on to define reggae. Since his death, he has become one of the best-selling musicians of all time.
Ancient Egyptians used marijuana for centuries, but not much evidence remains to prove this. Thankfully, we have Ramses II.
Ramses was one of the longest-reigning pharaohs in history, taking the throne in his teens and dying in 1213 B.C.E. over the age of 90. A fair amount is known about his life, but it wasn’t until modern times that cannabis pollen was discovered on his mummy.
Just imagine what you could learn about weed and the ancient world from this stoner bad boy. And you’d have firsthand proof that mankind has been using marijuana for thousands of years.
You don’t need to look any further than William Shakespeare to find proof that cannabis enhances creativity. The Bard was apparently quite familiar with the magic herb – not to mention cocaine.
Archaeologists recently found two pipes buried near Shakespeare’s garden that dated to his time in that home. Historians believe the pipes, which contained residue of burned marijuana and coca leaves, belonged to the writer.
It’s hard to argue that Shakespeare was impeded by his drug use. He was easily one of the most productive authors ever to grace the English language. It’s worth noting that while the coca leaves contained cocaine, the purified form of that drug wasn’t available for another 250 years.
Jack Herer was never well-known outside stoner circles. That may be changing, if slowly.
Herer was one of the most influential activists in the history of the marijuana reform movement. He spent most of his adult life pushing for legalization, and he was a central player on the cannabis scene for decades.
He died in 2010, but his memory lives on. A top-shelf strain of sativa is named after him, and it has undoubtedly reached most corners of the United States by now. Many tokers know little about his life, but his name has become a part of cannabis lore.