Ancient Egyptians- Cannabis use was common during the time of the ancient Egyptians. The pharaohs used cannabis to treat all kinds of ailments, including hemorrhoids. Traces of cannabis pollen were found on Ramses II’s mummified remains during an excavation.
Various Greek writers talked about using cannabis to get rid of tapeworms, stop nosebleeds and reduce ear inflammation. Unfortunately, their next idea was to give teenage boys hemp seeds in order to "dry up semen," so that the boys could make it through the night without unwanted ejaculations. Hopefully those patients at least had a few pleasant side effects.
Columbus was believed to have brought cannabis sativa to the Americas on one of his ships in 1492, thus introducing cannabis to the New World. Though he did not actually discover America he can at least be credited with that. It almost makes up for the horrible things he did to the Arawak natives... Just kidding, nothing makes up for mass genocide. Fuck Christopher Columbus.
Queen Victoria was an extremely powerful woman, and, like all women, was visited each month by her pesky Aunt Flo. Unlike most women, however, Queen Victoria had a bevy of physicians at her beck and call, all of whom wanted to make their queen comfortable, which is why her private physician, Sir J. Russell Reynolds, prescribed marijuana for her menstrual cramps. In an 1890 issue of The Lancet, one of the world's oldest medical journals, Reynolds wrote that marijuana is "one of the most valuable medicines we possess."
Queen Elizabeth I of England mandated that English crop-growers had to devote a portion of their land to hemp.
William Shakespeare- Historians found traces of cannabis on clay pipes at his estate in Stratford Upon Avon. The pipes were dated to the early part of the 17th century which is when he lived. Shakespeare wrote about ‘a noted weed’ in one of his sonnets, and frankly, it isn’t hard to imagine him being high when he wrote certain plays!
First President of the United States George Washington, one of the Founding Fathers known to have grown hemp prior to prohibition
Ben Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper, which allowed America to have a free colonial press without having to beg or justify paper and books from England. Furthermore, the rope that was used in his famous lighting experiment was a hemp rope.
JFK used marijuana to deal with severe back pain, according to a few written accounts, including “John F. Kennedy: A Biography”, which described this White House scene: “On the evening of July 16, 1962, according to [Washington Post executive] Jim Truitt, Kennedy and Mary Meyer smoked marijuana together. … 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.
Carl Sagan was a life long marijuana user and closeted advocate of legalization. In an essay written for the 1971 book Marihuana Reconsidered, Dr. Sagan, writing under the pseudonym "Mr. X" described his history of marijuana use and how he thought it had been a positive force in his life.