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PUBLISHED ON: Feb 22, 2021
Famous Personalities that Popularized Cannabis

Seeing a famous celebrity or a character advocate the use of cannabis for recreational or medicinal purposes is nothing new, but it’s still entertaining to learn their stories. Do a quick google search on the term “stoner celebrities” and you’ll see a list longer than you'd expect. These trailblazers not only smoked cannabis, but they also advocated its use and legalization during a time when it was looked down upon. 

Timeless Icons Who Smoked and Advocated Cannabis 

We’ve seen them in movies, music, TV shows, and even in comedy skits. In fact, new data shows that cannabis is depicted in pop culture more than ever. From Snoop Dogg to Hunter S. Thompson, here are some cannabis-loving pop culture icons that we grew to love throughout the years.

1. Snoop Dogg

If there’s anything else that Snoop Doog loves aside from rap music, it is without a doubt cannabis. Songs like “Weed & Wax,” “Smokin’ On,” “Smoke the Weed,” and “I Love Weed” in his cannabis-laced discography makes it obvious how the California native popularized smoking. It is said that Snoop Dogg even gave Dr. Dre the idea to name his iconic 1992 album “The Chronic,” a groundbreaking record that introduced cannabis-themed hip-hop to a global consciousness. 

In fact, Snoop Dogg loves smoking so much that he has his own line of cannabis products called “Leafs by Snoop,” and even invested in a start-up medical marijuana delivery service in 2005. In addition, he has a strain named after him called “Snoop Dogg OG.” The well-raved strain is a 70% indica-dominant hybrid and a cross between Sour Diesel and Lemon OG. 

Snoop Dogg even once admitted to smoking 81 blunts a day. That’s equivalent to a blunt every 12 minutes, if deemed correct. Regardless of how true this claim is, Snoop Dogg’s name is definitely synonymous with cannabis in the music world.

2. Cheech & Chong

The comedy duo composed of Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong became popular in the 70s and 80s for their stand-up shows, films and comedy albums. The pair met in British Columbia in the late 60s when Marin moved there from Southern California to avoid being drafted for the Vietnam War. 

Cheech & Chong started to perform their stand-up shows and gained local buzz for their relentless cannabis references. It was in 1978 when they gained worldwide acclaim for the movie, “Up In Smoke.” It became a cult classic, with their brand of humour widely dubbed as “stoner comedy.” 

One could say that Cheech & Chong had a celebrated run. To date, Cheech & Chong has recorded 11 comedy albums, filmed 9 primary movies, and 7 secondary films. They even won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album in 1974 for their record, “Los Cochinos.”

Cheech & Chong

3. Hunter S. Thompson

This legendary author is not just known for his devotion to psychedelics, Hunter S. Thompson popularized cannabis in the movie “Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas,” has always been known to adore and advocate its use.

Just after the legalization in Colorado, key figures in the cannabis scene hosted an exclusive dinner held at the author’s fortified mansion in Aspen. The dinner served dishes cooked with well-loved strains, such as “Asparagus in beurre blanc sauce, infused with Red Diesel.”

Thompson’s love for cannabis transcended posthumously. After being hounded by cannabis growers for years, the author’s widow, Anita Thompson, finally agreed to work with a cannabis company to re-cultivate the strains that the writer loved smoking during his time. Dr. Gonzo Strain is a mix of Sin Mint OG and Grandpa’s Breath.

4. Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson is an American musician and actor known for his pro-cannabis liberal activism. The acclaimed country musician has a long list of successful records, and has starred in television shows, movies, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993. Aside from country, he dabbled in folk, reggae, blues, and jazz. 

Nelson is known to be a strong advocate for the legalization of cannabis, and became a co-chair of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Of course, what’s a cannabis icon without a strain named after them? The Willie Nelson is a sativa-dominant strain known for its euphoric and creativity-inducing effects. It even won first place at the 2005 High Times Cannabis Cup in the sativa category.

5. Bob Marley

It goes without saying that Bob Marley’s overall impact on the popularization of cannabis culture goes beyond reach. The iconic reggae musician has his face plastered on millions of cannabis-related merchandise and paraphernalia all over the world, and there’s no guessing why. Marley frequently sang about “Mary Jane” all throughout his discography, and is famously associated with advocating its use for recreational and medicinal purposes. 

“Herb is a plant. Herb is good for everything,” he famously said. Aside from his celebrated albums, his most notable contribution to the modern world is his promotion of the rastafarian culture, hence sparking a global interest that is still widely acknowledged.

His songs, quotes, and lifestyle are still widely celebrated everywhere around the globe. Ask anyone who listens to reggae and they can sing a Bob Marley song without thinking twice. Adding to that, the Bob Marley sativa-dominant Jamaican strain is highly potent and packs a serious-yet-giggly punch. Absolutely fitting.

6. Louis Armstrong

It might not be a well-known fact, but the legendary jazz trumpeter loved his cannabis so much that he wasn’t shy to bring it up in his music and in daily conversations. Armstrong frequently advocated its use during a time when cannabis was viewed so negatively by the American government that they tried to merge it with the jazz movement. This was the time when the anti-cannabis propaganda, Reefer Madness, was being shown everywhere. He often spoke against its criminalization, and took cannabis often to self-medicate against anxiety. 

In fact, his views on cannabis were so ahead of the times that he publicly exclaimed that he wanted a licence or a permit to carry his cannabis and smoke it everywhere he went. If only he was still alive now, the legalization would have made him sing “What A Wonderful World” 10 times over.

 A group of friends watch “Up in Smoke”

Feeling a Little Inspired?

Sit back, stream a Cheech & Chong movie, and relax. Smokey’s online store has the finest strains of dried flowers and a wide range of edibles, vape cartridges, extracts, and topicals to make your movie night even better. Pick the products you want and have it delivered to your doorstep. As simple as that. 

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