Shakespeare must have been high to come up with some of those plot twists.EXPAND
Shakespeare must have been high to come up with some of those plot twists.
Martin Droeshout [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Who Knew? Six Famous Potheads in History

With marijuana laws changing all over the United States, many people may have their first opportunity to indulge in what’s long been known as “the devil’s weed.”

But many leaders, thinkers and creators throughout history have experimented with cannabis and have used it to aid them in stress relief, brainstorming and relaxation. Here are six historical figures who loved marijuana and advocated its use:

Hunter S. Thompson

Renowned author Thompson is best known for his cult masterpiece Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas — and he was also a well-known pothead.

From Thompson: “I have always loved marijuana. It has been a source of joy and comfort to me for many years. And I still think of it as a basic staple of life, along with beer and ice and grapefruits — and millions of Americans agree with me.”

Carl Sagan

Sagan was one of the world’s foremost astrophysicists and a champion for pushing science education far and wide. He also was a strong proponent of herbal remedies.

Sagan wasn't happy that pot was not legal: “The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.”

William Shakespeare

During an excavation of Shakespear's garden, researchers found clay pipes with traces of cannabis — which has led to widespread speculation that the great bard was, in fact, blazed when he penned his classics.

Though he never made any mention of marijuana use in his work, one would have to be high to create some of the trippy plotlines in his plays.

Hua Tuo

Tuo was an Chinese scholar and physician who developed the very first surgical anesthetic mixture, called mafeisan, around 200 A.D. Made from wine and ground cannabis, this potent cocktail enabled Chinese surgeons to perform procedures that were not possible in other areas of the world until much later.

It’s been noted that Tuo was no stranger to the effects of the plant, as he tested proper dosing on himself first.

Queen Victoria

When you’re a world leader, life can get stressful. It’s no wonder that kings, queens and presidents have imbibed the leaf to bring sweet relief.

Queen Victoria, who reigned for more than 60 years as queen of Great Britain and Ireland, is said to have used a marijuana-laced beverage to relieve severe menstrual cramps.

Ganja save the Queen.

Herodotus

It’s believed that Greece's Herodotus, who lived in the fifth century B.C., was the first historian to mention the use of marijuana in the Western world.

“The Scythians put the Seeds of this hemp under the bags, upon the burning stones; and immediately a more agreeable vapor is emitted than from the incense burnt in Greece. The Company, extremely transported with the scent, howl aloud.”

Nobody has been able to decipher what this actually means, but we know it has to do with getting high.

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