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As the cannabis industry expands and more states begin to legalize marijuana, the number of people who smoke weed is increasing. It's no secret that weed is the drug of choice for a lot of the stars. Throughout history, numerous figures have been open about their enthusiasm for the substance. Potheads have existed for longer than one would expect. This list highlights some of the most famous potheads in history.
Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc was a peasant living in medieval France who claimed that God spoke to her. She said that God wanted her to lead the French army against the English. She led the troops to victory, but not long after she was tried and convicted of witchcraft. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, but her legacy has lived on long after her. It has been suggested that Joan of Arc was an avid pot smoker in her day. The use of drugs would explain the whole "talking to God" thing. She supposedly also saw visions, which led to her being accused of witchcraft. In her trial, she was accused of using "witch's herbs" (marijuana) to hear voices, which she claimed belonged to God.
Shakespeare is one of the most famous writers/playwrights of all time, but was Romeo and Juliet written under the influence of drugs? We cannot know for sure, but clay pipes were found in the garden of his home with traces of cannabis. It's possible that he was high when he wrote his classic works. Unfortunately, there is no proof that the pipes in his garden actually belonged to him, but why would someone else bury pipes in Shakespeare's garden? Some of his more trippy works like A Midsummer Night's Dream suggest that Shakespeare was, in fact, one of the most famous potheads in history.
George Washington, the first president of the United States, is rumored to have been one of the most famous potheads in history as well. As is the case with most of these historical figures, there is no concrete evidence to say this is true, only clues. Passages in Washington's diary reference the fact that he grew hemp on his property. Now it's important to remember that hemp was used for many things in colonial times, and it usually went into making clothing, rope, and sails. There is a possibility that Washington only used the plant for making fabrics, but with wooden teeth, wouldn't you want to relieve that pain by smoking up? Plus, he wouldn't be the last president caught toking up...
Stephen Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould was a hugely successful scientist and professor at Harvard University. He authored several books and died of cancer in 2002. To cope with his disease he used marijuana for many years. His original diagnosis was that he had eight months to live, but he lived 20 years after that. He claimed that it was extremely effective in his recovery, and was an advocate for legalizing the drug for medical uses. He wrote The Structure of Evolution Theory while being one of the most famous potheads in history.
It seems that a lot of leaders of countries were weed-enthusiasts in their day. Queen Victoria was the ruler of Great Britain and Ireland for over 60 years. During her reign, Great Britain's industry expanded significantly along with many advances in science and literacy. She is said to have used cannabis to help alleviate menstrual cramps. Her doctors prescribed it to her, making her one of the first patients to receive medical marijuana. Supposedly the Queen ingested the drug through drinking some mixture of it. She is one of the most famous potheads in history out there.
James Monroe was the fifth US president who strengthened the country's foreign policy. He was mentored by Thomas Jefferson and took part in the negotiations of the Louisiana Purchase. The founding father was the US ambassador to France before his presidency, where he first started smoking weed. Monroe remained a pothead until his death at age 73. It turns out many of the past presidents experimented with the drug.
This legendary Chinese Emperor was a pioneer in studies of agriculture and medicine some 4,000 years ago. He experimented on himself and others with herbal remedies for illness. The Emperor was a founder for pharmacology. He is reported to have made a form of tea using cannabis, which was used to treat numerous ailments. The tea solution was called Ma'. Apparently, Shennong also allowed people to pay him in cannabis. Can you imagine if we used weed as currency? The world would be a very different place.
Steve Jobs only died in 2011, but I think he can still be considered a historic figure. His influence on modern technology is vast as he created the Apple brand and developed many of its most successful products. However, he was very open about the fact that he did drugs. Apparently, Jobs did LSD and smoked weed often during at least one portion of his life. The drugs apparently helped his creative process and led him to come up with some of his revolutionary ideas. The innovator famously dropped out of college as well, proving that you can be successful without an education, and apparently when you're also doing drugs.
Pharaoh Ramesses II
Pharaoh Ramesses II was the third pharaoh of the 19th dynasty in Egypt and one of the most famous potheads in history. He is a legend, having over 200 wives in his lifetime and living to be 96 years old. In addition, when his body was uncovered in the 1880s, traces of cannabis were found in his remains. Apparently, weed was relatively common in ancient Egypt. It has been rumored to have been part of a religious practice, and there have been speculations that it was used to help with depression and mental illness, particularly for women. The goddess of wisdom, Seshat, was often pictured with a cannabis leaf over her head in ancient drawings. It is said that pot was consumed in some way or another during religious festivals or ceremonies.