5 Literary Greats That You Probably Didn't Know Used Cannabis - Culture | MERRY JANE
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5 Literary Greats That You Probably Didn't Know Used Cannabis

The masterminds behind dozens of literary classics may have enjoyed cannabis just like we do.

by Kathleen Wong

by Kathleen Wong

A great poet once wrote, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Now the world is wondering what the great Bard would have said about marijuana. The resurfacing of a 2001 study, in which clay pipe fragments found in Shakespeare’s town of Stratford-upon-Avon, and even his garden, were discovered to have traces of cannabis and cocaine compounds, has recently -- and rightly -- blown up the Internet. Unfortunately, the caveat to what many consider is the long-awaited confirmation of the Bard’s drug allusions is that the evidence is pretty lacking, and merely suggestive -- and no new research has surfaced since. Although Shakespeare might not have actually been fond of that flower, here are a few other literary stars who were:

  1. Friedrich Nietzsche

The postmodernist theorist was also considered to be a mad man by quite a few folks. Medical records from the 19th century show the eccentric thinker to have done hashish, along with opium and potassium bromide.

  1. Oscar Wilde

The writer of “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is rumored to have smoked marijuana, as well as having used opium and absinthe.

  1. Baudelaire

Between 1844 and 1849, Baudelaire joined the likes of Victor Hugo and Theophile Gautier for gatherings known as the Club des Hachichins, or the Hashish Club. The literary minds would drink coffee laced with hashish and write about their influenced experiences. The poet called drugs "artificial paradises" in 1858.

  1. Hunter S. Thompson

Grapefruits, beer and marijuana are some of the basic staples of life, Thompson once said. The renowned journalist and author was also frequently spotted at marijuana activist conventions during the 1970s.

  1. Stephen King

In a 1980 interview, King admitted to smoking only before attending the movies so he could avoid addiction. His idea of what cannabis is about? “To just get mellow,” of course.


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Kathleen Wong

Raised in Hawai'i, Kathleen is a bonafide beach-goer who suffers from a severe case of island fever. She came to and stayed in New York because of its endless food options. Kathleen has written for High Times, Refinery29 and Mashable.



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