With marijuana having become a reality in a large majority of states across over the country, more and more people are becoming vocal in their support of the magic herb. Increasing tolerance and acceptance by the general public has also caused more people to be less hesitant to share their appreciation for marijuana. Even high-profile individuals have gotten in on the act, with business moguls, athletes, and even presidents admitting to marijuana use (previous and present). This has subsequently given rise to a number of very quotable statements, some of which are quite revolutionary given the status of the person who uttered them. Here are some of the stoner quotes that have shaken the world.
1. Bill Clinton
“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.”
In the early 1990s, when marijuana was still widely considered the devil’s weed, admitting to youthful pot use was a sure loser. Clinton turned to semantics during his 1992 race for president, claiming he lit up but never inhaled. No one believed him. Clinton said earlier this year that he “never denied” smoking weed.
2. Louis Armstrong
“It’s a thousand times better than whiskey. It’s an assistant, a friend.”
Arguably the greatest jazz artist of all time, Armstrong had a penchant for cannabis that he said brightened his days. He started using in the mid-1920s, early in his career, and never put the J down. He regularly used it before recording sessions and performances. He ran into trouble more than once but vowed never to quit. “I just won’t carry on with such fear over nothing and I don’t intend to ever stop smoking it, not as long as it grows,” he said.
3. Mitch Hedburg
“I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to too.”
Hedburg rose to fame as a stand-up comedian in the late 1990s before dying at 37 of a combination of congenital heart problems and hard drugs. He used this line early in his career, and it’s a snappy retort to dissembling public figures who can’t admit they smoke weed every day and instead say they “used to.”
4. Stuff Smith
“The sky is high, and so am I.”
If You’re a Viper, written by Smith, has probably been covered more times than any other song about weed. He recorded it in 1936, and it quickly became a big hit. It’s widely considered the first popular song about cannabis. And it isn’t very subtle: “Dreamed about a reefer five feet long / mighty Mezz but not too strong / You’ll be high but not for long / if you’re a viper.”
5. Bob Marley
“When you smoke herb, it reveals you to yourself.”
If anyone had the credibility to talk about ganja, it was Jamaica’s greatest artist. Reggae is probably the art form most closely associated with weed, and Marley was a prominent member of the Rastafari movement, which uses cannabis in religious ceremonies. Marley died of cancer at 36 but left a pot-laced legacy of musical genius.
6. Barack Obama
“When I was a kid, I inhaled frequently. That was the point.”
Bill Clinton may have denied inhaling when asked whether or not he had used marijuana in the past, but Barry Obama made no secret that he had inhaled, and–presumably–that he enjoyed it.
7. Arnold Schwarzenegger
“That is not a drug. It’s a leaf”
The actor, former bodybuilder, and now governor of California may be known for many things, but few would have suspected that he was sympathetic to legalization until he made this surprising statement.
8. Kevin Smith
“I know you’re supposed to tell kids not to do drugs, but, kids, do it! Do weed! Don’t do the other stuff, but weed is good”
Kevin Smith’s statement probably won’t make him very popular with parents. But telling kids to stay off “the other stuff” at least shows that his heart is in the right place.
9. Hunter S. Thompson
“I have always loved marijuana. It has been a source of joy and comfort to me for many years. And I still think of it as a basic staple of life, along with beer and ice and grapefruits – and millions of Americans agree with me.”
This one isn’t really all that surprising considering the source. Given the Thompson’s now-legendary affinity for drugs of various kinds, for him not to be included in this list would have been the real surprise!
10. Carl Sagan
“The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.”
The noted astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, and author may not be with us any longer, but his astounding body of work casts a long shadow over science and culture. He was also a well-known and vocal user of marijuana and supporter of marijuana legalization who wrote about his advocacy as far back as 1971.
11. Russell Brand
“We all need something to help us unwind at the end of the day. You might have a glass of wine, or a joint, or a big delicious blob of heroin to silence your silly brainbox of its witterings but there has to be some form of punctuation, or life just seems utterly relentless.”
The flamboyantly witty and always quotable Russell Brand seemingly has opinions on virtually everything, and he had the above quote to say about marijuana. As always, his insights are frivolous and colored with imagery, but also on-point.
12. Jimmy Carter
“Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself; and where they are, they should be changed. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marijuana in private for personal use.”
Jimmy may not have admitted to using marijuana as Bill and Barry did, but he was definitely a supporter of marijuana law reform as proven by the above quote.
13. Bill Maher
“Selling pot allowed me to get through college and make enough money to start off in comedy.”
The noted author, stand-up comic, TV host, and political commentator has definitely done a lot of things throughout his life, but few would have expected that he sold pot at one point.
Are there any other interesting stoner quotes that we’ve missed out? Let us know in the comments.