For as long as cannabis has consumed the minds of prohibitionists, politicians, and lawmakers, there have been influential cannabis icons that have popularized the drug, bringing it into the mainstream.
These icons play a momentous role in cannabis legalization for states nationwide. Their continued support for cannabis use and the cannabis industry is only creating a brighter future for cannabis in the U.S. and those who use it.
Keep reading to learn about some of the most influential cannabis icons.
Herer is known as the “father of marijuana legalization” and “the emperor of hemp” and even has a cannabis strain named after him.
In 1973 he opened his first head shop, called High Country, and began compiling information about the Cannabis plant, including its uses as hemp and as a drug.
After a dozen years of research, in 1985, he published his non-fiction book “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.”
Many mark the release of this book as the beginning of the cannabis legalization movement, and the text is still used today to promote legalization and cannabis law reform. Herer was so confident in the claims made in the book that he included an offer of $100,000 to anyone who could disprove them.
Wanting everyone to have access to the book, Herer published it online for free. However, editions are also available for purchase on Kindle and paperback.
Cheech Marin & Tommy Chong
These two are easily the funniest cannabis campaigners in history. The comedians performed together in the 1970s and 1980s when cannabis was considered taboo among general audiences.
In 1978, they released their first featured film, “Up In Smoke,” which is widely credited as the first stoner comedy film.
The characters they played while performing standup, acting in films, and recording comedy records were major successes with audiences.
The two created hyperbolic versions of the people the audience was already seeing in the growing hippie counterculture. They were trailblazers for the stoner tropes still portrayed in media today.
Both run independent cannabis companies, Tommy Chong’s Hemp and Cheech’s Stash.
“Roll me up and smoke me when I die.”
This iconic opening line of Willie Nelson’s 2012 song “Roll Me Up” is an excellent example of just how big a role cannabis plays in Nelson’s self-identity.
Throughout his career, Nelson has promoted cannabis and its uses. When touring from gig to gig, he was notorious for swapping his stash with fans who offered him some of their Mary Jane. For him, cannabis culture is a way of life, and he lives by the philosophy, “my stash is your stash.”
In 2015, he released a line of cannabis called “Willie’s Reserve,” By 2016, he had stores in Colorado, Washington, Las Vegas, and Oregon. True to his philosophy, Willie’s Reserve® “pays tribute to the tradition of sharing, caring, and toking.”
Beyond his love for cannabis and the community, Nelson is also one of the cannabis revolution’s most passionate and dedicated supporters. While he is undoubtedly a renowned and timeless American country musician, Nelson is also Co-Chair of the National Organizational for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
Snoop Dogg has always been very open about his cannabis use. Countless references to cannabis are found throughout his discography, from his earliest work to newer hits.
Allegedly, Snoop was introduced to cannabis by Tupac Shakur at a 1994 party for the movie Poetic Justice. That night he smoked his first blunt. Ever since he has preferred blunts over any other consumption method.
By 2015, the rapper entered the world of cannabis education and business:
- April 2015 – invests in Eaze, the Uber of weed delivery that advertises delivery within ten minutes; delivery is currently available in California and Michigan
- September 2015 – launches the cannabis-focused digital media platform MERRY JANE; the platform features a database for identifying cannabis strains and dispensaries, an original video series, and editorial content on the business and politics of the cannabis industry
- November 2015 – launches his line of cannabis products, Leafs by Snoop (rebranded as LBS in the Canadian cannabis market)
Snoop also partially owns Canopy Growth, the largest global cannabis and CPG organization in the world.
At North, we know we wouldn’t be where we are today without the cannabis cultural icons that have paved the way for cannabis legalization and industry.
Even though we did our best to include some of the most notable cannabis icons in our list, many others have and continue to work to decriminalize and destigmatize cannabis.
There are so many ways that cannabis can benefit individuals. That’s why we sell only premium medical cannabis products at our Pevely and Hillsboro locations.
If you need medicinal cannabis, check out our locations and hours.