Some people think it’s hearsay that marijuana makes you more creative. But a quick look at the history of literature, music, and philosophy would suggest otherwise. And so would a lot of modern-day stoners. Many literary and musical geniuses boast the special powers that smoking weed gives them when it comes to creativity. Somehow, smoking weed gives us access to the parts of our mind that are full of ideas, and it is from this place that artists bring us their creations. This article is a tribute the authors who smoke weed; those who brought us the books and plays that we bury ourselves in when we get stoned!
If you ever read a novel by Stephen King, then you definitely got the feeling he was smoking something every now and then… at the very least. In his biography, King admits that he spent a lot of the 80s using cocaine, alcohol, and marijuana. Even though he isn’t proud of his past drug addictions, there was a lot of fuel in there for his interestingly twisted stories. And though he doesn’t use cannabis anymore, Stephen King advocates its legalization.
When it comes to authors who smoke weed, Norman Mailer was an American novelist, journalist, and essay writer. Often outspoken, he also wrote of political matters. And marijuana was never off the agenda. Before he died, Norman Mailer shared a lot about his love affair with marijuana during many interviews. In fact, he said that his time with marijuana was like a romance and that he shared a love affair with marijuana more valuable than he had probably ever shared with a human being. “Marijuana has a lovely quality… to remove stale habits of the mind so one perceives a little better. One sees a little better and one hears a little better” – and no doubt, that perception gave rise to writing a little better, too.
Hunter S. Thompson
Why not start where American literature really counts? Hunter S. Thompson is one of America’s iconic writers, becoming famous for his book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. This wasn’t his only literary masterpiece, but it’s clear that Thompson has an affinity for the herb (and other drugs) in this book – which is actually all about that. Despite being a connoisseur of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson was deeply respected for his literature, whether it was in the form of books or journalism.
Creator of the famous documentary series, Cosmos, Carl Sagan is another on this list of famous authors who smoke weed. “The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world,” is the way that Carl Sagan describes the current legal situation in the world with respect to marijuana. Sagan said that marijuana inspired him creatively, giving him access to a library of thoughts and ideas that were otherwise unavailable to him. And no doubt, writing while high was a favorite pastime for Sagan.
This writer, director, and actor has become an icon in the American film industry. He is well known for his non-linear storylines that are full of action and satire. Tarantino is open about his use of marijuana, although he doesn’t use it while directing. In an interview after the release of Django Unchained, Tarantino said, “You smoke a joint, you put on some music, you listen to it and you come up with some good ideas…I don’t need pot to write, but it’s kind of cool.”
Okay, this one has largely been speculation… until now. William Shakespeare never admitted to using cannabis, but there is evidence to suggest that he may have enjoyed a pipe every now and then. Some tobacco pipes were dug out of Shakespeare’s garden by a team of South African scientists. When they tested these pipes, which were over 400 years old, they found cannabis in eight of the samples. So, it’s entirely possible that while Shakespeare was busy being one of the most influential writers in the history of literature, he was also smokin’ the herb!
Jack Kerouac is well known for his book, On The Road, which is arguably a bible for those who enjoy drug culture. He was an innovator of the “beat generation”, comprised of a generation who were open about sex and drug use and who heavily disagreed with war. Kerouac hints at his use of marijuana in his book, Desolation Angels. “I had my little wines, lesser drugs of my own (for excitement, for sleep, or for contemplation, and when in Rome),” Kerouac wrote. He confirms it later in the book by specifically mentioning rolling a joint.