Public perceptions of cannabis are shifting. In much of the US, medicinal users can now acquire the plant in many forms. Some states allow individuals to buy high THC pot seeds and cultivate crops at home. The world’s loud and proud marijuana advocates are spearheading this change.
Today, we analyze the work of nine influential ganja activists. They come from diverse industries and cultural backgrounds, but one thread ties them: their belief in weed rights for all.
1. Tommy Chong
Tommy Chong is among the most famous weed smokers in history. He’s best known for his part in the Cheech & Chong comedy duo. The actor became a household name after starring in Up in Smoke and revolutionized the idea of stoners in films.
Chong uses his voice to push for legalization and spread cannabis awareness. He considers the existing laws racist and thinks of marijuana as a way to promote wellness. Hemp may also make human activity eco-friendlier, another cause of great import to the actor.
2. Keith Stroup
Keith Stroup is an acclaimed cannabis advocate. He founded the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana (NORML) and is partly responsible for legalization across the US.
NORML has been fighting for marijuana reform since 1970, and Stroup was the executive director for its first nine years. During this time, 11 states implemented decriminalization laws.
Stroup took a break from NORML to advocate for other minority rights and resumed his role in the organization in 1995. He kept acting as a spokesperson for the next decade and still works with the group.
3. Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson is a legendary singer-songwriter and a famous pot smoker. His advocacy spans social justice issues, but cannabis remains his priority.
Nelson has been fighting for legalization for decades through political means, co-chairing NORML and representing reform. He’s also used his fame to platform his ideology, most notably in his autobiography, ‘Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I’m Gone.’
The musician entered the cannabis industry, launching a line of weed products under the ‘Willie’s Reserve’ label.
4. The Stanley Brothers
Seven Stanley brothers opened Charlotte’s Web CBD, the epitome of a quality cannabidiol brand. Their company is now among America’s most recognizable and reputable medicinal weed manufacturers.
The brothers first crafted a high-CBD oil for a young and severely epileptic Charlotte Figi. The product reduced the girl’s seizures in quantity and inspired their further action.
The brand has grown to incorporate dozens of hemp-derived, CBD-based products. The Stanleys aim to help more people just as they did little Charlotte.
5. Lori Ajax
Despite never having toked, Lori Ajax is an avid marijuana advocate. She was appointed the first head of the Bureau of Medicinal Marijuana Regulation in California in 2015. Her obligations included regulating, licensing, and taxing weed.
Ajax remained in the agency after her state legalized recreational pot, leading the new Bureau of Cannabis Control. She spent the next five years regulating the market and helping business owners adjust to the new requirements. Her career marked the beginning of a happier chapter for American marijuana.
6. Steve DeAngelo
Steve DeAngelo is an entrepreneur and activist. He dropped out of school to join the Youth International Party (Yippies), a countercultural revolutionary group with radical attitudes. That was his first contact with the fight for marijuana rights.
DeAngelo read Jack Herer’s weed manifesto, ‘The Emperor Wears No Clothes,’ and met the man in person. The duo went on a national tour to promote cannabis.
The marijuana activist founded Harborside Health Center, the largest non-profit dispensary in California. He received the High Times Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 for his life-long dedication to legalization.
7. Christine De La Rosa
Christine De La Rosa suffered lupus complications in 2015. After trying medicine after medicine, she turned to cannabis for relief and never looked back. This discovery marked her beginnings as a famous weed smoker.
De La Rosa left her tech job and built the multi-state People’s Dispensary. Her business seeks to promote discussions and engage local California and Oregon communities, building solidarity and raising awareness.
8. Marc Emery
Nicknamed ‘Prince of Pot,’ Marc Emery is a business owner and a radical weed rights activist. He’s dabbled in politics, entering the Marijuana Party and promoting international reform.
Emery was the critical figure in overturning the prohibition of marijuana-related reading materials in the 90s. He led the ‘Summer of Legalization’ in 2003 to secure citizen freedoms.
The Canadian’s ventures include Cannabis Culture, a long-standing subcultural magazine, Pot TV, a video platform, and Hemp BC smoke shop. Interestingly, he also ran an illegal dispensary out of defiance.
9. Snoop Dogg
We can’t disregard Snoop Dogg while discussing famous weed people. The rapper sings literal praises about marijuana, and his existence counters the lazy stoner stereotype. He’s built an empire around the image and idea of ganja. Leafs by Snoop is now a prolific cannabis brand.
Snoop’s art and public appearances popularize the plant and educate about its wellness benefits. He supported the use of cannabinoids in sports for the same reason.
Spearheading the Green Revolution
These popular weed smokers changed the way we regard cannabis. They challenged stoner stereotypes and harmful beliefs about the plant and made it accessible to a regular person. If your state allows it, why not buy seeds and grow marijuana? It’s what they fight for, and they’d be glad to see it.