The Beatles, Bob Marley, Jim Morrison, Hunter Thompson, Jack Kerouac : Just a handful of renowned recreational drug users, some would say geniuses, who didn’t trouble themselves with hiding their habits. Well after a lot of digging, and a little bit of smoking, here’s an insight to some of history’s unlikeliest Druggies.
We all know Prince Harry likes a bit of puff puff pass, but he was by no means the first stoner in the royal family and way back when, it went right up to the very top.
Queen Victoria aka. the Empress of India ruled Britannia until 1901, and by many accounts was fond of a bit of herbal relief as she suffered from severe PMS, though back then they probably thought it was rude thoughts like ‘Leg’ prompting Lucifer to curdle your insides. Although a brazen stoner she reigned for nearly 64 years (the longest of any British monarch). Along the way she married her cousin and had 9 children, though i’ve checked and none of them played the banjo.
Queen Vic however wasn’t the first royal advocate of the ‘Devil’s Lettuce’, as years before, (about 300 to be exact) Henry VIII’s daughter Elizabeth I- you know the mad ginger one- had ruled it compulsory for all landowners with sufficient acreage to cultivate Cannabis as well as their usual crop or be punished by……….. a fine of £5!
Saints or Sinners?
Rastas aside, smoking the lord’s ‘erb isn’t something you would usually associate with religion, especially Christianity, but Oprah Winfrey isn’t the only saint who liked to get high after prayers.
The Catholic Church’s 3rd longest serving Pope, Leo XIII, was known for his fondness of a ‘Vin Mariani’, (basically cocaine-wine) a Bordeaux treated with Coca leaves. By all accounts he was a lively fellow and reigned as Pope until his death in 1903 (aged 93!). Err, I’ll have what he’s having.
Perhaps the strangest and most inconclusive claims are that ‘Joan Of Arc’ herself was accused of using ‘witches herb’ to effectuate and actualize her visions and contact with the Lord himself. Well now it all makes sense doesn’t it. Joan’s fate seems all the more grievous now we know she was burnt at the stake for going on a massive whitey.
Old Red Eyes
As I began earlier, throughout our time and beyond, entertainers and writers have always been at the forefront of drug culture; from Shakespeare to Spielberg, Beckett to Beiber, we could go on forever, but lets just say it seems to get the creative juices flowing one way or another. But there’re still a few pearly smiled, twinkle toe’d legends out there whose habits just might surprise a few.
Hats off to poor Ginger Rogers, she had her hands full. Well more to the point Fred Astaire did, but whilst they were performing these extraordinary (at the time) dance moves and stunts it transpires Fred was so chonged he would forget what film he was in. I mean if you can imagine Fred Astaire tip tapping his way down that big staircase (without falling down) in MGM’s (pretty much covers every film he starred in) after smoking his pre-rolled ‘special cigarettes’ all day (including whilst filming) then all of a sudden this famous scene doesn’t seem so strange at all. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RU_hFQg700s
You cant play sports (And win) whilst high, right?
Sport is normally associated with performance enhancing drugs. Doesn’t make sense otherwise- why on earth would you smoke a bong 10 minutes before the Olympic Final 100M Butterfly, when there’s a 25 minute queue at the hotdog stand. Well you wouldn’t, would you?
Well Michael Phelps did. Although he was never tested for Cannabis after any of his Olympic triumphs, it has now emerged he’s a loud and proud stoner, it does make you wonder how nobody cottoned on though. He ate 12000 calories a day, wears baseball caps with suits, and then, well there’s this Interview.there’s this photo
But it’s not just swimming that can be dangerous whilst under the influence of severe daydreaming and/or anxiety. Perhaps one of the most dangerous sports of them all is Boxing and perhaps one of the most dangerous men Mike Tyson admitted that he had many a fight whilst high on Marijuana and Cocaine- we can’t quite work out if thats an advantage or not? His swift decline from greatness points to the latter.
Bill Maher once quipped “Look, I have never made a secret of the fact that I have smoked marijuana, about 50,000 times.” Politicians however tend to use the “I tried it once, but never inhaled” Barack Obama approach. Yeah sure, that’s almost as embarrassing as Tony Blair’s attempts at ‘being down with the kids’. Anyway, I can’t imagine The Iron Lady having a lung or John Major cooking up hot knives, but believe it or not George Washington, the first President and Founding Father of the United States, was none other than a Pothead. A victim of chronic toothache (it was rumoured he had a set of wooden dentures, and by the end of his 2nd term, didn’t have a tooth left in his head) the President was intrigued by its ‘Medicinal purposes’ (we haven’t heard that one before!) Even cultivating his own crops – he became quite the expert breeder in fact – producing plants with sky high THC levels, although with raw sugar the height of fashion at the time, munchies could only of added to his oral woes. He was it seems, onto something, as recently governments and scientists alike have started acknowledging the soothing powers of Cannabis for a variety of ailments. Mr Cadbury and Colonel Sanders will be rubbing their hands in glee!