5 Historical Figures Who Got Baked

Posted on July 01 2016

Christopher Columbus

Boating enthusiast and discoverer - of the already discovered -  New World, Christopher Columbus, is not your typical stoner. In 1492 he was employed to do a little globe-hopping armed with a fleet of boats stocked to the teeth with weed according to a questionable website I found:

"The crews of the Armada were no strangers to the pleasures and relaxation qualities of medicinal cannabis. They understood that smoking a doob helped to keep life interesting, pain-free and hopeful. Hell, for all they knew, they were about to drop off the edge, meet a deep sea monster, come under attack from savages or just die of exposure. Is it any wonder why they wanted to party a bit?"

William Shakespeare

Bill Shakespeare, one of the most famous wordsmiths to ever live (up there with Kayne West and J K Rowling), liked to get a little funky on the old wacky tobaccy. Archaeologists discovered what they suspect is a cannabis pipe in his old garden which dates to a roundabout time when he lived there. 

Although there's no solid proof that it was his pipe, we all know it definitely was. I've sat through a 3 hour production of A Midsummer Night's Dream and I can vouch for the fact it was definitely his pipe.  The grass must have been pretty serious back in the Elizabethan England as well, because he managed to bash out 40 plays.  

Queen Victoria

Famously miserable Victorian-era Queen, Queen Victoria, was prescribed cannabis to help relieve pains related to her lady issues. That's not particularly surprising when you put it into context that medical marijuana used to be taken very seriously before it was criminalised some three decades after her eventual death. 

In other Queen related weed trivia: Daughter of professionally fat lady killer (literally) Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, imposed a £5 on any landowners with 60 acres or more who refused to grow hemp in 1563. 

George Washington

First President of the United States of American and wooden-teethed man, George Washington, was no stranger to the herb. George personally cultivated a lot of industrial hemp, because that's exactly the kind of thing you had to do in the 18th Century, Netflix hadn't yet been invented so he needed to pass the time. It's alleged that he was interested in growing strains with particularly high levels of THC. 

Washington was also a bit of a booze-hound as well (early American must have been one big party), he was the largest brewer in the US at the time of his presidency. 


Existentialist big-brain, Friedrich Nietzche, more famously known for his love of all things nihilist and declaring 'God is dead', is a man who clearly liked to sit down and get introspective. It's recorded that he smoked hashish (admittedly alongside some pretty serious chemicals as well), which probably explains a lot. 

I don't know if Nietzche is the kind of guy who I'd share a smoke with though, from spending 5 minutes on his Wikipedia page it's clear he was a massive buzz-kill. Would you really want to hang out with a man who said, "When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you?" I'll pass. 



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