Monday, May 20, 2024

Elvis And Marijuana

He was the king of Rock & Roll, but what about Elvis and marijuana

He changed music and had a huge impact in the industry.  He captured the emotions of a generation and lead the way for the Beatles, Queen, Sting, all the way up to Taylor Swift and Drake. He still holds the record for Most Top 40 hits at 114 total and has sold over one billion records worldwide. Elvis’s music has more than 30 million monthly Spotify listeners. In December, his music climbed to No. 1 on the Rock Streaming Songs Chart with his favorite “Blue Christmas.”

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But what about Elvis and marijuana? The Musican had a troubled history with drugs, but what about his relationships with cannabis?  Growing up in Tupelo, Mississippi, he was brought up in a faith background. He won three Grammy awards during this lifetime, all for gospel music. His death in 1977 shook the world.  At the time he was bloated, sad, and overusing drugs…but was marijuana in the mix?

Elvis was part of the mainstream culture, but he started the move from strait-laced to a more open mindset. His swinging hips was the first step on the path to sexual freedom and a more robust love of daily life.  But for Elvis it came at a price.  Quickly becoming an icon, he struggled with the fame, the tour, and how his image didn’t always match what he felt as his true self.

He definitely experimented with illicit drugs. Elvis and then wife Priscilla tried LSD together and spent quite a while giggling and looking at Elvis’s fish tank. But they didn’t like the after effects and didn’t try it again. In Alana Nash’s book he consumed marijuana for medicinal purposes after his eye trouble, and also probably smoked it other times. Priscilla shared he occasionally had edibles.

But his true love was legal prescription pills. When he went to the army, he was already addicted to amphetamines and later on opioids and barbiturates were added to help him sleep and come down from the amphetamines.

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Presley, with his music and dancing, represented sexual liberation. He also brought traditionally black music to the mainstream which became a thread in the civil rights movement.  Despite a conservative upbringing, he wound up opening the path for modern thinking.  While he didn’t endorse marijuana, he changed the mindset which also started a change in the way the public, especially the younger set, thought about cannabis.

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