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  • These Influential Marijuana Users Defy The Stoner Stereotype

    These Influential Marijuana Users Defy The Stoner Stereotype
    "Times have changed, and so have public attitudes toward marijuana.”

    IF

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Now that nearly one out of every two Americans admits to having tried marijuana at some point in their lives, more than half of all states have moved away from draconian prohibition-style marijuana policies and the legal marijuana industry's savvy entrepreneurs are running businesses that are generating billions in sales (and millions in taxes), the "stoner" stereotypes of the past seem more obsolete than ever before.

    To help quash those myths for good, the advocacy group Marijuana Policy Project has released its annual list of the top 50 most influential Americans who have used marijuana. The people who appear on it -- and their soaring success -- just might surprise you.

    “We hope this list will make people question some of the anti-marijuana propaganda they’ve been hearing for so long,” Mason Tvert, communications director for MPP, said in a statement. “Millions of adults enjoy consuming marijuana for many of the same reasons that adults enjoy consuming alcohol. The only thing that makes marijuana consumers more likely to become ‘losers’ are the legal penalties they face just for using it.”

    MPP's list contains politicians like President Barack Obama and eight of the 2016 presidential hopefuls. According to MPP, only six candidates out of the more than two dozen making a run for the White House have said they never used marijuana. The others have either made it clear they have tried the substance, or have suggested that they may have at some point in their lives.

    “Fewer than one-third are willing and able to admit they never used marijuana,” Tvert said. “Times have changed, and so have public attitudes toward marijuana.”

    MPP's list also contains a Supreme Court justice, governors, entertainers, entrepreneurs and sports stars.

    MPP says that it used a similar set of metrics that Out Magazine used to produce its "Power 50" list of LGBT Americans, including "power to influence cultural and social attitudes, political clout, individual wealth, and a person’s media profile.” Individuals on MPP's list do not need to currently consume marijuana, and they do not have to support reform of marijuana policy. They simply need to be a currently living U.S. citizen who has consumed marijuana at least once in his or her life. The information about consumption, according to MPP, must come from the person's "own account or that of a legitimate source."

    Check out some of our favorites from MPP's list below, and go here to see all 50. https://www.mpp.org/Top50/

    Maureen Dowd

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    “Sitting in my hotel room in Denver, I nibbled off the end and then, when nothing happened, nibbled some more. I figured if I was reporting on the social revolution rocking Colorado in January, the giddy culmination of pot Prohibition, I should try a taste of legal, edible pot from a local shop."

    Snoop Dogg

    JOSEPH OKPAKO VIA GETTY IMAGES
    “It makes me feel the way I need to feel.”

    Jennifer Aniston

    FRAZER HARRISON VIA GETTY IMAGES
    “I enjoy it once in a while. There is nothing wrong with that. Everything in moderation. I wouldn't call myself a pot-head.”

    Miley Cyrus

    ROB LATOUR/INVISION/AP
    “You know you’re a stoner when your friends make you a Bob Marley cake.”

    Rick Steves

    RICK KERN VIA GETTY IMAGES
    “I have used cannabis all over the world.”

    Susan Sarandon

    VENTURELLI VIA GETTY IMAGES
    “I’ve never worked high, and I’ve never filmed high. But I’ve read scripts high and gotten a different perspective.”

    Justin Timberlake

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    “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.”

    Michael Bloomberg

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    “You bet I did. And I enjoyed it.”

    Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    “As I’ve already been open about in the past -- and as I assume many would expect -- I made personal choices when I was younger that I neither support nor condone for others and certainly wouldn’t encourage through public policy.”

    Martha Stewart

    CHRIS PIZZELLO/INVISION/AP
    “Of course I know how to roll a joint.”

    Morgan Freeman

    KEVIN MAZUR VIA GETTY IMAGES
    “My first wife got me into it many years ago. I have fibromyalgia pain in this arm, and the only thing that offers any relief is marijuana.”

    Whoopi Goldberg

    ANDY KROPA /INVISION/AP
    “The vape pen has changed my life. No, I’m not exaggerating. In fact, her name is Sippy. Yes, she’s a she. And yes, I named her Sippy because I take tiny, little sips -- sassy sips, even -- from her. And with each sip comes relief -- from pressure, pain, stress, discomfort.”

    Lady Gaga

    JORDAN STRAUSS/INVISION/AP
    “I smoke a lot of pot when I write music.”

    George W. Bush

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    “I wouldn’t answer the marijuana questions. You know why? Because I don’t want some little kid doing what I tried.”

    Sanjay Gupta

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    “I have tried it.”

    Bill Maher

    FRANK MICELOTTA/INVISION/AP
    “Look, I have never made a secret of the fact that I have tried marijuana… About 50,000 times.”

    Clarence Thomas

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    “The White House said today that Judge Clarence Thomas, President Bush’s Supreme Court nominee, had smoked marijuana while in college.”

    Stephen Colbert

    RICHARD SHOTWELL/INVISION/AP
    “First, [in high school], I smoked a lot of pot ... and that’s how I got to know the people ‘half in’ the society of my high school and we waved at each other over the bong. Then I got to know people by making jokes.”

    John Kerry

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    “Yes.” [In response to the question, “Which of you are ready to admit to having used marijuana in the past?”]

    Bill Clinton

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    “When I was in England, I experimented with marijuana a time or two.”

    Oprah Winfrey

    JORDAN STRAUSS/INVISION/AP
    “Uh … 1982. I hear it’s gotten better.” [In response to a question about when she last consumed marijuana.]

    Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    “Well, yeah, I admitted you know, back when I was running for the Senate, that when I was in college that I smoked pot and that was something that I did when I was in college.”

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    “I smoked marijuana twice -- didn’t quite work for me. It’s not my thing, but it is the thing of a whole lot of people.”

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    “Let’s just say I wasn’t a choir boy when I was in college and that I can recognize that kids make mistakes, and I can say that I made mistakes when I was a kid.” [In response to a question about whether he ever consumed marijuana. One of his college friends also said, “Randy smoked pot.”]

    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

    BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES
    Cruz spokesperson: “When [Cruz] was a teenager, he foolishly experimented with marijuana. It was a mistake, and he’s never tried it since.”

    Former Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D-R.I.)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    “In 1999, then-Warwick Mayor Lincoln D. Chafee won accolades for his honesty in acknowledging he used marijuana and cocaine as a 1970s student at Brown University.”

    Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.)

    THE WASHINGTON POST VIA GETTY IMAGES
    “I drank alcohol, and I smoked marijuana when I was at Andover. It was pretty common.”

    President Barack Obama

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    “When I was a kid, I inhaled. Frequently. That was the point.”

    Matt Ferner
    National Reporter, The Huffington Post
    Posted: 08/26/2015 07:00 AM EDT | Edited: 08/26/2015 02:22 PM EDT
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/most-influential-marijuana-users_55dcd9aae4b0a40aa3ac95e3?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

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