Friday, February 23, 2024

10 Historical Figures Who Consumed Cannabis

You definitely learned a thing or two about these notable figures during your classroom studies, but we bet your teacher didn’t mention that they all smoked weed. We’re here to school you.

People love consuming marijuana. They always have, and they always will. So, it should come as no surprise the figures we studied in school dabbled in the recreational (and medicinal!) cannabis scene. Here are 10 historical figures who consumed cannabis. Here are some of the most notable examples, from George Washington to Joan of Arc.

George Washington

Photo by 905513 via Pixabay

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After founding our nation, Washington retired to a farm in Mount Vernon. There, he mostly grew hemp. Entries in Washington’s diary strongly suggest he had an affinity for the medical use of marijuana. 

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for heresy, having claimed to receive visions and messages from the Archangel Michael. Although there’s no written record of Joan of Arc consuming cannabis, she came from a village that was well-known for its medicinal herbs,  including cannabis.


At Shakespeare’s home in Stratford-Upon-Avon, researchers found clay pipes with cannabis residue. When you combine that with the mention of a ‘noted weed’ in one of his sonnets, it’s not hard to imagine Shakespeare enjoying a hand-rolled while doing his writing. Hamlet does seem like the classic stoner.

Alexandre Dumas

Although known primarily for The Three Musketeers andThe Count of Monte Cristo, Dumas was also a hash enthusiast. In fact, he even helped found an organization called the Club des Hashishchins. In English? The Club of Hash-Eaters.

Pharaohs of Egypt

Photo by Trapuzarra via Pixabay

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Egyptian civilization lasted nearly 3000 years, during which time a great number of pharaohs ruled the land around the Nile. When researchers examined the mummy of Ramesses II, cannabis pollen was found in abundance. In addition, medical records from the Egyptians also describe numerous uses for cannabis.


This one isn’t exactly a secret. Predating the drug war, JFK was said to use marijuana to cope with back pain. In fact, one account from John F. Kennedy: A Biography tells of JFK enjoying three joints with a woman named Mary Meyer.

Carl Sagan

Photo by skeeze via Pixabay

At age 35, astronomer Carl Sagan wrote an essay under a pen name advocating for the legalization of marijuana. In fact, his wife even served on the board of directors at NORML.

Christopher Columbus

When Columbus set sail for the New World, it’s said that he made sure to bring plenty of cannabis seeds. If his crew were to get shipwrecked or marooned, at least they could plant some crops.

Hua Tuo

You may not have heard of him, but Hua Tuo is known for having invented the world’s first anesthetic. The recipe? Powdered cannabis mixed with wine. While it’s not great by modern medicine’s standards, it does sound like a good time.

Queen Victoria

Portrait by Franz Xaver Winterhalter via Wikimedia

Despite being a symbol of everything prim and proper, Queen Victoria was certainly given cannabis for its medicinal purposes. In fact, her private doctor even went on record as saying: “When pure and administered carefully, [cannabis] is one of the most valuable medicines we possess.”


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