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Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Users

You might be surprised who's on the list.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/ KUCO


Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s largest marijuana policy organization, released a list of the “Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Users” in the United States on Wednesday. At the top of the list is none other than our hypocrite...er...commander in chief Barack Obama, who has sent more pot smokers and other nonviolent drug offenders to prison in his five years as president than any before him. Just below Obama are media mogul Oprah Winfrey, former President Bill Clinton, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and television show host Stephen Colbert. Others include the Daily Show's host Jon Stewart, entertainer and entrepreneur Jay-Z, Secretary of State John Kerry, business magnate George Soros, and comedian Bill Maher. So much for the notion that 'stoners' are lazy work-o-phobes. 

“The goal here is to dispel the myth that marijuana users are ‘losers’ who lack motivation and highlight the fact that they are typically productive and oftentimes quite successful,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. “As this list demonstrates, many of our nation’s most successful citizens have used marijuana.”

The list is composed of Americans who have used marijuana at least once during their lifetimes, including some who speak openly about their current marijuana use. They were selected based on their “power to influence cultural and social attitudes, political clout, individual wealth, and … media profile”—the same criteria Out Magazine uses to select its “ Power 50” list of LGBT Americans. The list includes known supporters and opponents of marijuana policy reform.

“We hope this list gets people thinking about the fact that marijuana prohibition laws cause more harm than the substance itself,” Tvert said. “Some of these folks might not have made it to where they are today had they been arrested for using marijuana.”

The list:

1. Barack Obama

"When I was a kid, I inhaled frequently. That was the point."

(Source: YouTube)
2. Oprah Winfrey

"[Television show host Andy Cohen] asked the last time Winfrey had smoked marijuana. 'Uh … 1982,' Winfrey replied. 'Let's hang out after the show,' Cohen joked. 'Okay,' Winfrey laughed. 'I hear it's gotten better.'"

(Source: Bravo)
3. Bill Clinton
"I experimented with marijuana a time or two."

(Source: YouTube)

4. Clarence Thomas

"The White House said today that Judge Clarence Thomas, President Bush's Supreme Court nominee, had smoked marijuana while in college."

(Source: New York Times)

5. Stephen Colbert

"First, [in high school], I smoked a lot of pot...and that’s how I got to know the people ‘half in’ the society of my high school and we waved at each other over the bong. Then I got to know people by making jokes.”

(Source: San Francisco Chronicle Interview (January 2006))

6. Jon Stewart

“Do you know how many movies I wrote when I was high?”

(Source: The Daily Show)

7. Jay-Z

"I smoked some weed, and that’s how I finished ‘Izzo.’"

(Source: XXL Magazine)

8. John Kerry

"Yes." In response to the question: "Which of you are ready to admit to having used marijuana in the past?"

(Source: On The Issues)

9. George Soros

"He said he had tried marijuana, enjoyed it, 'but it did not become a habit and I have not tasted it in many years.'"

(Source: Reuters, 2/6/97)

10.  Bill Maher

"Look, I have never made a secret of the fact that I have tried marijuana... About 50,000 times."

(Source: YouTube)

11.  Bill Gates

“As for drugs – well, Gates was certainly not unusual there. Marijuana was the pharmaceutical of choice…”

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