Celebs’ Marijuana Use: Examining Its Effects On Their Careers

Once upon a time, the Hollywood potheads were unconventional icons who flew under the mainstream grid. Times have changed.

Rihanna Celebrities Who Smoke and Advocate Cannabis
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Once upon a time, the Hollywood potheads were unconventional icons who flew under the mainstream grid. Times have changed.

Many celebrities continue to keep their love for marijuana under the radar, preferring to keep that part of their personal lives private. That being said, as the media coverage and conversation regarding marijuana legalization gains momentum, so does the number of celebrities who sing out their endorsements for both medical and recreational cannabis usage.

Once upon a time, the Hollywood potheads were unconventional icons who flew under the mainstream grid. The celebrities that generally come to mind are Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Bob Marley, Tom Petty, and the ultimate stoner duo Cheech & Chong.

Many of these stars built their livelihood on their marijuana use, and they marketed their music or movies according to their lifestyle. In fact, with the growing legalization of marijuana, many of the above-mentioned celebrities have their own line of cannabis products for sale in dispensaries around the country. Individuals who have been following their careers are generally not surprised by their actions.

Snoop Dogg, for instance, posted a photograph of his son on Twitter smoking a 2-foot-bong. Afterward, in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the rapper admitted that he “taught his son how to properly smoke weed,” asking what’s a “better way to learn than from the master?”

Deputy director for the marijuana decriminalization organization NORML Paul Armentano spoke to USA Today about the cultural stigma that surrounds marijuana use.

“As more states embrace marijuana law reform, the cultural stigma surrounding cannabis will continue to wane, thus opening the door for more public figures to express their support and be more candid regarding their own private cannabis consumption.”

As the general attitude toward marijuana usage relaxes and laws begin to change, so too does the type of celebrity singing the praises of Mary Jane. Today’s marijuana indulging celebrities include the unexpected mainstream heartthrobs, the teen idols, and some of America’s top sports icons.

Lady Gaga once admitted that she smoked a lot of pot when she writes music, helping her cope with the stresses of her job. Kristen Stewart declares that her pot smoking is “no big deal.” Likewise, Justin Timberlake openly admitted to his recreational use of the drug in a 2011 interview with Playboy Magazine when he stated that he “absolutely” smokes weed. He went on to say the following, according to an E! News report.

“The only thing pot does for me is it gets me to stop thinking. Sometimes I have a brain that needs to be turned off. Some people are just better high.”

Tommy Chong, one half of the infamous Cheech & Chong comedy duo, affirmed that he is proud of the new generation of celebrities who advocate the use of cannabis by saying, “these talented kids are realizing the benefits of pot and they’re indulging.”

A post shared by Tommy Chong (@heytommychong) on

The transgressions are clearly not having the same effect on the careers of young stars that they would have had with generations before them.

When Frank Ocean was found to be in possession of marijuana, he simply tweeted “hi guys, I smoke pot. OK guys, bye.” Nothing else came of his cannabis citation. Similarly, Justin Bieber apologized to his fans in a Saturday Night Live skit and his lapse in judgment was quickly forgotten.

When Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was photographed inhaling from a bong, he made a public apology and due to the change in marijuana’s approval rating, he only lost one sponsor (Kellogg’s) as a result. In contrast, when then 19-year-old tennis star Jennifer Capriati was arrested for cannabis in 1994, she lost millions of dollars worth of sponsors and contracts.

Fourteen-year-old Jack Dylan Grazer, who starred in the 2017 adaptation of Stephen King’s IT, caught some recent heat for a video that showed him smoking pot and blowing the smoke into the camera. A separate video of Grazer, vaping next to co-star Finn Wolfhard, also sparked controversy.

After his parents and publicist caught wind of the viral video, Jack Dylan Grazer issued a public video apology to his fans at their request.

“It was a dumb thing that I did due to peer pressure at school. I’ve now realized that vaping and smoking pot is stupid and it’s not cool and it’s not worth it. I’ve learned my lesson and I’ve learned it the hard way.”

Jack Dylan Grazer is slated to appear in the 2019 movie Shazam!, as well as the sequel to It which will also release in 2019.

Multi-award winning music artist Rihanna has amassed a large social media following. She has never shied away from telling her fans about her love of cannabis.

In an interview with USA Today, celebrity publicist Howard Bragman stated simply, “Nobody cares. Society has moved on.” He went on to say that cannabis smoking or possession isn’t even in the “top 10 of what bad things celebrities can do” like it once was.