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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Presidents’ Day: (in) Hail to the Presidents

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Being the leader of the free world is a tough job. Perhaps that is why we know that at least a handful of former US presidents have consumed cannabis. Whether before, after, or during their tenures in the White House, there is already a solid track record of general leaders sharing or advocating aspects of cannabis that trace back to our country’s origins. This Presidents Day, let’s dig into this historical — and fascinating — fact.

From the Founding Fathers to the newest names to hold the position, the intersection of America’s top leaders and their association with cannabis makes for a fascinating survey. Whether it’s a farming curiosity, a wildly cloudy college text, or the all-time great Willie Nelson origin story, On Presidents’ Day, we honor those who have served the nation’s highest office and who also harbor an affinity for weeds.

George Washington

In addition to being the first president of the United States and his pivotal leadership role in the Revolutionary War, George Washington somehow found the time to keep a detailed diary throughout his life. Covering all kinds of his adventures, musings, and challenges, Washington devoted considerable ink to his interest in botany—Including hemp. Although historians cannot say anything definitively, he does seems possible That the “cannabis preparations” Washington writes about making and consuming to deal with toothaches and other ailments could conceivably be made from THC-rich female cannabis plants.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was too fond of cannabisAnd they may go as far as smuggling seeds from China to plant them in America. During his tenure as Ambassador to France (cue the Hamilton Song), Jefferson was deluded into the midst of a cannabis frenzy. Unfortunately, we don’t have documentation telling us whether Jefferson caught the fire properly, but his actions are a worthy reminder that, at times, even seated US presidents may have fallen short trying to smuggle cannabis compounds into the country they drove.

James Monroe

Like Jefferson, Monroe served as ambassador to France where he got a first-hand look at the cannabis craze. Some accounts suggest that our Fifth Chief took the fervor home with him, continuing to smoke weed unapologetically for the remainder of his life. It’s also possible that such anecdotes are the result of unsubstantiated allegations or confusion, but the jury seems destined to be forever out on Monroe’s exact range when it comes to cannabis.

Jimmy Carter

One has to take Jimmy Carter at his word when he says he tried cannabis, but thanks to our 39th president one of the stone culture’s greatest stories has come to light. In fact, it was Carter’s son, Chip, who invited folk musician and cannabis advocate Willie Nelson to join him late at night. On the roof of the White House. It’s incredible stuff, exacerbated by the fact that Carter has also called on Congress to pass legislation to eliminate all federal penalties for possession of up to an ounce of cannabis –in 1977. Talk about a leader ahead of his time.

Bill Clinton

A meme in the pre-meme era, an infamous quote by Bill Clinton (“I didn’t inhaleIt was a punch made in comedy heaven. As the world took a collective look at Clinton’s wording, his unwillingness to acknowledge his past cannabis consumption was made infinitely worse by his advocacy and support for Severe Crime Act 1994, which was also sponsored by the current president, then-Sen. Joe Biden (and every Republican in elected office). next time? Sure sniff, President Clinton.


When 46 separate people have served as president over more than 250 years, it’s hard to squeeze everyone in there. However, it should be noted that various accounts indicate that James Madison was also fond of cannabis; that Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, and Franklin Pierce all (separately) wrote letters during the American-Mexican War referring to enjoying cannabis; and that JFK very likely used cannabis for his back pain while in office.

Meanwhile, the modern group of military leaders now confront A.J The tide turned Where earlier rhetoric equated cannabis with the enemy to be defeated by “war” It is no longer enough. Instead, we see new US presidents like Barack Obama openly acknowledging past cannabis use and successfully moving on from the topic. However, this personal enjoyment has not yet translated into concrete policies aimed at releasing those imprisoned for cannabis offenses and mitigating future arrest, imprisonment, and systemic prejudice.

Although recent administrations have offered waves of amnesties related to cannabis prisoners, incl issued some by former President Trump in 2021 and President Biden’s welcome announcement in 2022 that he has pardoned”All previous federal offenses of simple marijuana possessionThe leader who takes over on the day that pardon is no longer necessary is destined to find his name at the top of the heap as America’s first true cannabis boss.

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