8 Presidents Who Used Cannabis

Presidents' Day is a time to honor the life of first President George Washington, as well as all the other leaders, past and present, of the world's most powerful nation. We have a special place in our hearts for honoring politicians and, of course, cannabis, so on this Presidents' Day we're taking a look back at Presidents of the United States of America who reportedly smoked cannabis.

Barack Obama

President Obama famously quipped "I inhaled frequently; that was the point."

George W. Bush

Seems fairly obvious #43 is probably not talking about tobacco in this famous clip.

Bill Clinton

90's POTUS Bill Clinton said, "When I was in England, I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn't like it and didn't inhale and never tried it again." We'll have to take the president at his word of course, but it's hard to know which is less believable, that he didn't like it or that he didn't inhale.

John F. Kennedy

The Kennedy's Campaigning in WisconsinJeff Dean / Wikipedia

There isn't any photo evidence of Kennedy smoking cannabis, and there isn't a record of him admitting to cannabis use himself. However, in the book John F. Kennedy: A Biography, authors Michael E Meagher Ph.D., and Larry D. Gragg wrote:

The president smoked three of the six joints Mary brought to him. At first he felt no effects. Then he closed his eyes and refused a fourth joint. 'Suppose the Russians did something now,' he said.

Franklin Pierce

President Franklin Pierce might be searching for his lighter in this photo.

Pierce is said to have smoked with his troops during the Mexican-American War. He reportedly wrote that cannabis was "the only good thing" about the war in a letter to his family.

Zachary Taylor

Evidence for Zachary Taylor having smoked cannabis may be more controversial, but there are reports he also smoked with troops.

President Zachary Taylor was high on his horse even if he wasn't high on cannabis.

Andrew Jackson

The seventh POTUS, Andrew Jackson, is also said to have smoked cannabis and tobacco with troops. No word on if he combined the two items into elevated blunts.

Andrew Jackson ignores the battle beneath him and waves his rapier in the air. Was he high?

James Monroe

In Rowan Robinson's The Great Book of Hemp: The Complete Guide to the Environmental, Commercial, and Medicinal Uses of the World's Most Extraordinary Plant the author writes:

James Monroe, the fifth U.S. President, was introduced to hashish while he was serving as ambassador to France, and he continued to enjoy the smoke until he was seventy-three years old.

James Monroe, hashish smoker

Banner Image: Joseph Sohm / shutterstock.com

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John Sinclair is one of the lesser-known people in cannabis culture, but he’s a very important figure, particularly for anti-prohibition activists. Sinclair is a native of Flint, Michigan, far from the hippie epicenters in California or the Warhol scene of the Big Apple. The scene in Michigan was grittier and more blue collar.