Celebrities often use their spot in the limelight to bring attention to causes or organizations that they support. We’re all familiar with cameos and appearances made at special events, fundraisers, telethons, and benefits that grant us a glimpse into the more charitable side of the faces that we’ve grown familiar with over the years. Some of these people tend to be famous weed smokers, too.
Many celebrities or notable figures, however, stand apart when they show support for cannabis. It’s one of the only philanthropic positions that’s both charitable and potentially harmful to a person’s career, reputation, and public image.
But those in the public eye who have been vocal about their personal use of cannabis or candid about their support for legalization have helped the movement tremendously. And the effects trickle down to benefit all those who use cannabis.
The Top 6 Celebrities Who Are Helping Legalize Weed
The NFL has had a questionable relationship with cannabis, but a growing number of athletes are coming out as users anyway, hailing it as an effective alternative to opioids. Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Eugene Monroe was one of the many players who experienced severe injuries during his career on the field. The experience resulted in Monroe becoming the first active NFL player in history to openly advocate for the removal of cannabis from the NFL’s Banned Substances List.
Since retiring, Monroe has continued his work as a vocal supporter for the use of medicinal cannabis in the NFL. Monroe has also inspired a number of fellow athletes to “come out of the green closet.”
In 2010, Zach Galafinakis appeared as a special guest on Real Time with Bill Maher to discuss the topic of cannabis prohibition.
Maher, a cannabis enthusiast himself, discussed the issue with a panel of political figures before Galafinakis famously derailed the conversation by pulling out a joint and smoking it on set, in front of millions of viewers.
In hindsight, the move was a remarkable one, especially considering the state of cannabis in America nearly a decade ago.
Of course, after the audience settled down and the conversation continued, Galafinakis blurted out, “where did all these dragons come from?” It was his way of pointing out the absurdity of cannabis stereotypes.
During the 90s and early aughts, Ricki Lake was the youngest talk show host in history. Since her show ended in 2004, the public saw Lake pursuing documentary filmmaking, focusing primarily on pressing issues in America.
Lake’s most recent documentary, Weed the People, explores medicinal cannabis, its history in America and the parents who advocate for medicinal cannabis for their children with severe illnesses. The documentary showed what parents are willing to go through and the challenges they face as cannabis remains a Schedule 1 drug in the United States.
Former NBA star Al Harrington has a long and accomplished career as a basketball player. Since retiring from the association, he has become a leading entrepreneur in the cannabis space and an impressive activist for the use of cannabis among NBA athletes.
As a part of Harrington’s efforts, he met with former NBA commissioner David Stern. The meeting changed Stern’s attitude towards cannabis, after which he told Harrington, “I’m now at the point where personally I think [cannabis] probably should be removed from the banned list. You’ve persuaded me.”
Willie Nelson has been incredibly open about his support and love for cannabis. He’s been a political and personal activist for the plant as well, even creating his signature strain of weed, known as Willie’s Reserve.
He’s worked for the past few decades to help alleviate the stigma surrounding cannabis. Today, Nelson sits on the advisory board for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), a nonprofit dedicated to helping legalize cannabis and supporting those who have been wrongly impacted by prohibition laws.
Joe Rogan’s podcasts have become somewhat of a phenomenon. His YouTube channel alone is a few views shy of one billion.
As an avid cannabis enthusiast, Rogan regularly uses and discusses cannabis on air. His wide-reaching influence has helped change public attitudes about the plant.
Last September, Elon Musk appeared as a guest on Rogan’s podcast. The Tesla co-founder shared a blunt with Rogan, which became a massive controversy and the most watched podcast in Rogan’s catalog, garnering 13 million views in less than a week. Needless to say, it fueled the conversation around who should be allowed to smoke cannabis and what, if anything, it says about a person if they do.