Surprise, Surprise, Here Are 12 Famous People You Didn't Know Smoked Pot

Soft Secrets
29 Nov 2020

While still stigmatized by some, cannabis has come a long way from being an illicit drug to becoming a 'health elixir' highly praised by everyone, rich and famous included.

  While weed activists and advocates are pushing efforts for federal legalization, cannabis has been legalized both for medical and recreational use in most states in the U.S. Point being, cannabis is less and less tainted as a dangerous drug and more and more celebrated for its many physical and mental health benefits.  Bob Marley, Snoop Dogg, and Wille Nelson are just a handful of famous people who have been mostly outspoken about their fascination with Mary Jane. And even though pot today is far from being an obscure occurrence, there are some famous people who you might be surprised to have smoked weed.

So... who are some of the unlikeliest famous people who've smoked pot?

One of them explained space and the vast universe better than any other person in the world. Another has regularly given God's voice in every production where God is fictionalized as a character, or he just might be the voice-over in your head when you take too many hits from the bong. Below are 12 famous people who've smoked cannabis. Some of them have also been loud proponents of decriminalization of the happiness-giving substance. 

On the left: photo of Carl Sagan in the 1954 edition of Cap and Gown, a yearbook produced by the University of Chicago. On the right: photo of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner with his trademark Playboy Pipe in 1966.

1. Carl Sagan

"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." — Carl Sagan One of the most prolific and brilliant minds of the 20th century, Sagan was a famous astronomer known for his celebrated works of fiction, hit TV show Cosmos, and his overall contribution to science. What Sagan was less known for is his fascination with cannabis. Even though he was forced to keep this in private for legal and other consequences, a number of pieces of evidence point to Sagan's close relationship with cannabis. The famous astronomer was an avid pot user and was one of the first scientists to speak out about the benefits and properties of cannabis publicly.  Under a pseudonym, reportedly, he has written that cannabis trips have helped him better reconstruct childhood events, understand music and art in ways he had not been able before, has improved his enjoyment of sex, and he has argued that cannabis just might be the first crop cultivated by human civilization. 

2. Bill Gates

One of the richest men alive, Bill Gates is known for his support of cannabis. While the famous philanthropist has never admitted to partaking in the drug, he publicly backed up the 2012 referendum to legalize the substance in Washington.  "Marijuana was the pharmaceutical of choice, but in [roommate Sam] Znaimer's words, 'on a couple of well-planned isolated occasions we'd go off to the country and spend time contemplating the universe.'" wrote his biographer Stephen Manes in Gates: How Microsoft's Mogul Reinvented an Industry – And Made Himself the Richest Man in America.

3. Kirsten Dunst

The prolific actress known for her groundbreaking role as the child vampire Claudia in the Interview with the Vampire is not a stranger to taking a hit or two. The actress has been outspoken about her affinity for weed. In 2007, Dunst told MTV that even though she was never a major smoker, she thinks America's outlook on weed is ridiculous. "I mean — are you kidding me? If everyone smoked weed, the world would be a better place," the actress told MTV. However, though she enjoys the occasional puff, Dunst doesn't justify being stoned all day, though. "I think if it's not used properly, it can hamper your creativity and close you up inside," she said. In a recent interview with Kimmel, Dunst told of her latest experience of being notoriously stoned on set when she "accidentally" got high while smoking a "prop." 

On the left: Dunst at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2005. Photo credit: Tony Shek - Flickr, CC BY 2.0; On the right: Gaga performing on The Monster Ball Tour in 2010. Photo credit: John Robert Charlton, CC BY 2.0

4. Cameron Diaz

Here's a fun fact about bubbly actresses you probably don't know - one of Charlie's angels has used the devil's lettuce. America's sweetheart, Cameron Diaz, went to high school with Snoop Dog, and presumably, he was her 'dealer.' In a 2011 interview on Lopez Tonight, Diaz, 48, said she had probably been buying weed from Snoop. "We went to high school together; he was a year older than me... I'm pretty sure I bought weed from him. I had to have," she said.

5. Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga has been outspoken about using cannabis and has said on many occasions that she uses pot to help her manage chronic hip pain. In the 2017 documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two, said cannabis helps her to cope with the pain she experiences from fibromyalgia — a muscular disorder that leads to pain, fatigue, and mood issues. The pop singer and actress also said marijuana helps her manage the stress that comes as a consequence of being famous. In a 2011 episode of 60 minutes, Gaga also admitted she smokes pot when she writes music.  "I smoke a lot of pot when I write music. So I'm not gonna, like, sugar coat it for '60 Minutes' that, you know, I'm some, like, sober human being 'cause I'm not," she said. However, the singer also confessed in a 2013 interview that due to the constant pressure to create new music, she got slightly addicted to marijuana as she would rely on the pot too much.

6. Morgan Freeman

Hollywood's favorite narrator has been a longtime supporter of the legalization of marijuana for adults and, on several occasions, has claimed the criminalization of marijuana is "plainly dumb." Freeman told Newsweek in 2012 that criminalization is the stupidest law possible. "You don't stop people from doing what they want to do, so forget about making it unlawful. You're just making criminals out of people who aren't engaged in criminal activity," said the famous actor.  He himself is quite a fan of Mary Jane - in a 2015 interview with Daily Beast, the actor said his first wife got him into it years ago. The actor uses cannabis to treat chronic pain of fibromyalgia in his arm. "How do I take it? However, it comes! I'll eat it, drink it, smoke it, snort it!" - said the famous actor.

7. Brad Pitt

Hollywood's megastar Brad Pitt has a long and complicated relationship with cannabis. In a recent interview with the New York Times, the actor opened up about using weed as a security blanket in the 1990s to help him cope with the pressure that comes with being a celebrity in Hollywood. "I spent most of the '90s hiding out and smoking pot," Pitt, now 56, told the Times. "I was too uncomfortable with all the attention." After a decade of "hiding out and getting stoned," the actor said he got in a dark place where he was "imprisoning" himself.  He changed the tune by steering clear from pot and going out more in public.  "Now I go out and live life, and generally, people are pretty cool," he continued.

On the left: Morgan Freeman with his daughter at the 1990 Academy Awards. Photo credit: Alan Light - Flickr, CC BY 2.0; On the right: Pitt at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in 2007. Photo credit: Maggie, CC BY 2.0

8. Hugh Hefner

The Playboy magazine creator and iconic entrepreneur was a financial contributor to the National Organization for the Reform of Cannabis Laws. His ex-girlfriend, Holly Madison, revealed in her tell-all Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny that Hef would regularly puff every night before.. ahem... other rituals.  "Smoking helped put me in touch with the realm of the senses. I discovered a whole other dimension to sex," Hefner told the author of the book High in America.

9. Paul McCartney

After decades of smoking weed on and off, the famous Beatle revealed in a 2015 interview he has decided to "let it go" and lay off the habit because he wants to set a better example to his five children and eight grandchildren.  The 72-year-old said he replaced cannabis for a glass of wine or a "nice margarita." "The last time I smoked was a long time ago," McCartney told the Daily Mirror. "Back then I was just some guy around London having a ball, and the kids were little so I'd try and keep it out of their faces," he said. The former Beatle reportedly had his first puff with Bob Dylan in the swinging 60s around the same time Beatlemania was at its peak. McCartney had several run-ins with the law over marijuana possession in several countries, including Sweden in 1972, Barbados in 1984, and in Japan.

10. Jennifer Aniston

Who would have thought that the most bubbly ‘friend’ was a pothead? Well, she was not exactly a pothead, but Jenifer Anniston has told on several occasions that she’s a fan of weed and she doesn’t mind taking puff from time to time. In a 2001 Rolling Stones interview, Aniston said she enjoys it once in a while.  "There's nothing wrong with that. Everything in moderation. Geez, Louise," the Hollywood actress said.

On the left: McCartney live in Dublin, 2010. Photo credit: Fiona - Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0; On the right: John Legend at the Citi Presents Evenings with Legends show on 29 January 2014 in New York. Photo credit: Sachyn Mital, CC BY-SA 3.0

11. Natalie Portman 

The Academy Award winning actress shure doesn’t seem like a pothead, but in her college days, she knew to light up from time to time. In a 2011 Entertainment Weekly interview, Portman said she hasn’t smoked in years. “I’m too old. I wish I was that cool, but I’m like an old lady now. I’m in bed by 10 p.m. I can’t do that anymore,” she said. 

12. John Legend

Besides being a Grammy awarded singer, songwriter and actor, John Legend is also a legal cannabis advocate. In 2013, the singer told Huffington Post about the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana. “I think we need to legalize marijuana. There’s no good reason to continue [the] prohibition, and we need to consider ending prohibition in general,” he said. Now folks, if you'll excuse me, time to roll another one. 

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