This outspoken multi-billionaire started out by founding a provocatively named record store, Virgin Records, from nothing. Branson then magically grew that venture into an empire of wildly successful airlines and telecommunications companies. Next on Branson's agenda: transporting civilians to outer space. Not only has Branson admitted he's smoked pot regularly during his uber-successful career, he now shares the pastime with his adult son who's in his 20s. A strong supporter of worldwide pot legalization, Branson said he'd sell weed if that comes to pass. No doubt it would add to his list of victories.
Unlike most famous stoners, Williams turned to pot for medical reasons. After he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999 and finding no medicine that relieved his pain without unbearable side effects, the famous talk show host turned to pot. Today, he's one of medical marijuana’s most passionate supporters. His talk show was cancelled in 2008 after 17 years but Williams is still smiling.
Apple fan or foe, the impact Jobs had on the world as an entrepreneur, marketer, and inventor is undeniable. He was the cofounder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc. Who knows what else he would have accomplished had he not died at the young age of 56 in 2011. Jobs often spoke of his lifelong love of pot and his experience with LSD in 1972 during his college years. Based on his inventions, outstanding marketing savvy and ability to predict what consumers wanted even before they realized it, could we be making more money if we committed to a toke a day?
Stephen King- If you've ever read a King book or seen a movie based on one of his books, it's clear this man's mind doesn't work like most. From Carrie to The Shining to his current stable of short stories and films, King can infuse creepy into any scenario. Sure, he's probably been a little twisted all his life but his fondness for pot probably helps the creative process. King has been a pot endorser his whole life, labeling laws against it as "ridiculous." He backed up that comment, "I think that marijuana should not only be legal, I think it should be a cottage industry." At the rate pot laws are changing, King may see his vision become a reality.
Pot-smoking US Presidents are nothing new. George Washington grew it on his farm, Clinton allegedly "forgot" how to inhale when he was passed a joint. But Obama was the first President to admit smoking it – and enjoying the experience, of course admitting to smoking in his younger days. Regardless of your opinion of Obama and his performance, even his staunchest critics mostly recognize his intelligence. And as for pot adversely affecting ambition and drive, Obama's career squashes that belief.
World class athletes are generally perceived as manic devotees of healthy living. We have been led to believe they drink kale smoothies, adhere to stringent exercise regimens, and abstain from life's joyous escapes and stress relievers like booze and pot. When Phelps, who has more Olympic Gold Medals than anyone in history, got caught on film hitting a bong at a party with the expertise of a bona fide stoner, he cited bad judgment for a one-time occurrence. Few bought his story and many smiled as pot could no longer be called the enemy of athletic prowess or determination.
The next time someone starts pontificating about pot muddling thought processes and stifling creativity, tell them the Carl Sagan story. A pothead since the get-go, this world renowned astronomer, astrophysicist, and cosmologist won a Pulitzer Prize as well as hundreds of scientific awards, wrote a novel that topped the best seller list, and has published 500+ scientific papers and articles. Sagan also credited pot with sharpening his insights. Perhaps he was under the influence when he coined his signature phrase "billions and billions."
Schwarzenegger has one of the most bizarre resumes ever. He first gained fame as a charismatic body builder in the memorable documentary Pumping Iron in which he was shown smiling while he puffed on a joint. That scene didn't deter him from starring in a string of box office super hero/robot movie hits. Schwarzenegger shockingly went on to become Governor of California. Apparently pot hasn't stood in his way on several paths to success. His early efforts to legalize pot eventually led to California okaying the sale and use of medical marijuana. Much like his most famous movie quotes, his most repeated comment on the subject was short and sweet: "Marijuana is not a drug, it’s a leaf."
Ted Turner- One of the most intriguing and multifaceted billionaires of all time, Turner is a mixture of charm, daring and audacity. The founder of CNN, Atlanta Braves owner and former spouse of Jane Fonda has a much more fascinating side. He cultivated pot in his college dorm room, funded a large part of the Kentucky Hemp Museum, along with outspoken stoner Woody Harrelson and is a huge fan of the cartoon classic Scooby-Doo. His conservative dress and demeanor are icing on the cake.