In honor of President’s Day, let’s talk about every president of the United States that smoked weed!
You may be surprised by how 420 friendly some of our nation’s leaders were. Sure, we have all probably seen the photo of President Obama smoking a joint, but there are some on this list that might really surprise you.
11 Presidents That Smoked Weed
Yes, you read that right. The father of the United States grew hemp. How do we know? He wrote about it himself in his meticulous diaries! In one entry, he notes that he began separating female and male plants, a practice still used in cannabis cultivation today. Another entry suggests that President George Washington used hemp as a medicine to battle toothaches.
Thomas Jefferson was another founding father that grew hemp. He was an Ambassador to France when hashish was extremely popular. According to some historians, Jefferson risked imprisonment by importing Chinese hemp seeds that were known for their high potency into America. That is some American history we would have paid attention to in high school!
Cannabis consumers know the plant can help spark ideas and creativity. James Madison agreed! He once said that hemp helped him have the insight to help create a new democratic nation. It sounds like all Americans owe weed a “thank you” for helping our founding fathers.
Another Ambassador to France, James Monroe, openly smoked hashish while abroad. He reportedly continued his marijuana use until he died. Monroe is still one the most open cannabis friendly Presidents in our country’s history.
Far from the military’s official policy these days, famed U.S. Army General and President Andrew Jackson openly wrote in letters about smoking cannabis with the troops. Now that we know cannabis has incredible effectiveness in fighting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it is clear Andrew Jackson was ahead of the curve.
President Taylor was another military man who smoked marijuana with the troops. He also seemed to understand the therapeutic benefits of the plants way before we started to study it ourselves.
The third and final military man on this list, Franklin Pierce was known to smoke marijuana with his troops during the Mexican-American War. He recounted his smoking habit in letters home, saying that being able to smoke hemp was the only good thing about the war.
John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy would probably be considered a medical marijuana patient if he was alive today. Many of his biographies recount JFK’s marijuana use for dealing with severe back pain. One written account by a Washington Post reporter says that JFK smoked three joints in the White House one night with two colleagues. According to the written account, he refused a fourth joint asking, “What if the Russians did something now.”
JFK is the only president who has a written account of marijuana use while in the White House. The only other notable mention of cannabis use at the White House was not a President at all, but rather Jimmy Carter’s son Chip, who reportedly smoked pot on the roof of the White House with Willie Nelson. Now THAT is a smoke session we would have loved to be a part of.
We have all heard Bill Clinton’s famous line he used in response to questions of marijuana use in his younger days. President Clinton claimed to have tried cannabis a couple times, but never inhaled. And he may not have been totally lying. According to Christopher Hitchens, a famed writer and college classmate of Bill Clinton, the President enjoyed pot brownies. Maybe President Clinton really didn’t inhale; he ate his marijuana instead!
George W. Bush
George W. Bush was known for his college cocaine use more than marijuana. But President Bush indirectly admitted to smoking cannabis at some point in his life. He avoided all questions when it came to his pot use until after his Presidency. He finally said that he never answered inquiries about his pot use because he was worried kids might follow his example of experimentation.
Of all modern presidents, President Obama is the most open about marijuana use in his younger days. Pictures of Obama with a joint have made their way around the internet many times over the years. In a wink to Bill Clinton during the 2008 election, Obama admitted to smoking pot back in the day saying, “When I was a kid, I inhaled frequently. That was kind of the point.”
At least eleven U.S. Presidents, from Army Generals to Ambassadors, smoked marijuana and went on to lead incredibly successful and impactful lives. This President’s Day, let’s toke one out in their honor.
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