From Kings and Queens to Explorers and Pharaohs, here’s a list of 11 historical stoners that might catch you by surprise!
1. William Shakespeare
Known as one of the best writers and playwrights in the world, Shakespeare’s creativity may have sparked from something a little more natural than you might have expected. Researchers found traces of cannabis in clay pipes uncovered in the garden of his home. After all, he did write of a “noted weed” in one of his sonnets.
2. Queen Victoria
Ruling the British Empire from 1837-1901, Queen Victoria was England’s longest ruling monarch. Victoria’s team of physicians would prescribe her marijuana for menstrual pains. She became the first internationally known medical marijuana patient. Who knows, if she were alive today she might have made a few trips across the big lake to join in the Colorado festivities!
3. George Washington
Washington, like Queen Victoria, used marijuana to alleviate pain. He, however, didn’t have to worry about menstrual cramping, but instead used medical marijuana to alleviate pains from toothaches. The “Father of the United States” kept a journal in which he wrote about growing and cultivating marijuana and hemp.
4. Joan of Arc
This French medieval heroine was accused of witchcraft and using “witch herbs” to hear voices and see visions. It just so happens that these herbs turned out to be marijuana. It was never proven that Joan had smoked weed, but then again, it was never proven that she hadn’t smoked it either. You can make your own judgement.
5. Pharoah Ramesses II
Many Egyptian Pharoahs used marijuana for different medical purposes like hemorrhoids and sore eyes. Marijuana was found preserved in the tomb of Ramesses II. If these guys could figure out that marijuana has a medical purpose, what’s going on with the U.S. government?? I mean come on, they built the pyramids..
6. Elizabeth I of England
Queen Elizabeth I of England may not have partaken in the use of cannabis herself, but she made sure England had plenty of it! In fact, in 1563 she ordered every landowner with over 60 acres of land to grow marijuana in their gardens. Too bad she isn’t alive today.
7. Christopher Columbus
In 1492, Columbus sailed to America becoming the first European to find this land. Among his assortment of plants and herbs, Columbus brought marijuana seeds. In the event of a shipwreck, the sailors would be able to use the seeds to grow for supplies and food. Luckily Columbus successfully made it to America without a shipwreck, so the marijuana seeds might, quite possibly, have been used for more “recreational” purposes. We may never know.
8. James Madison
“The Father of the Constitution” once claimed that hemp gave him insight to create a new and democratic nation. Sounds like he’s the “Father of the Ganj-tution” to me…
9. John F. Kennedy
Close friends of John F. Kennedy say that he used marijuana often to help with back pain. He even used during his term as President and planned on legalizing marijuana in his second term. Curse you Lee Harvey Oswald!
10. James Monroe
Monroe began smoking marijuana when he became the U.S. Ambassador to France. He continued to smoke weed until the age of 73 when he passed away.
11. Emperor Shennong
The earliest recorded use of marijuana for medical purposes comes from 2700 B.C. under Chinese Emperor Shennong. Shennong found marijuana to be effective in treating gout and rheumatoid pain. Marijuana was not only used for medical purposes. Early manuscripts were found with passages encouraging people to grow hemp for industrial purposes too!
This post was originally published on December 16, 2014, it was updated on March 15, 2017.