Rock Legend and Cannabis Advocate Tom Petty Has Died

The music world is in mourning today as legendary rocker Tom Petty has died after suffering cardiac arrest last night at his Malibu home. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee (2002) was less than 3 weeks away from his 67th birthday.

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers rose to fame in the 70s and enjoyed superstardom in the 80s with defiant singles like 'Breakdown,' 'Refugee' and 'I Won't Back Down.' And the band's frontman was equally outspoken about America's hypocritical cannabis laws.

"If you're gonna sell liquor, you have to sell pot," Petty told Rolling Stone back in 2013. "Liquor's worse for you. I don't think pot's addictive — I never felt like I had to have it, you know. Actually, no, I take that back [laughs]. But it is safer than alcohol."

And it was his recreational vice of choice for the last 50 years.

"I'm mostly just a reefer guy," Petty said in 2014 when Men's Journal asked about his drug use. "I've had a pipeline of marijuana since 1967...It's a musical drug."

That's probably why he featured marijuana in hits like 'You Don't Know How It Feels' (1994), where Petty sings,

But let me get to the point, let's roll another joint
And turn the radio loud, I'm too alone to be proud
You don't know how it feels
You don't know how it feels to be me.

He may have also alluded to marijuana a year earlier in the 1993 hit 'Mary Jane's Last Dance'.

So if cannabis is also your vice of choice, roll one for Tom tonight.


Glaucoma often makes the list of acceptable conditions for treatment by medical marijuana in states where the substance has been legalized, but the cannabis compound CBD could actually worsen the condition. A recent study from Indiana University has found that consuming CBD—a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis often used for medicinal purposes— actually increases eye pressure. "This study raises important questions about the relationship between the primary ingredients in cannabis and their effect on the eye," lead researcher Alex Straiker told Science Alert.