Barack Obama, 2016 Presidential Hopefuls, Top MPP’s 50 Influential Marijuana Users List


What do President Barack Obama, right-wing talk king Rush Limbaugh, pop star Miley Cyrus, and most of the 2016 presidential candidates all have in common? You know, beyond the fact that they travel with security and are rich beyond our wildest dreams? They all smoke or have smoked marijuana and today were included in Marijuana Policy Project‘s “Top 50 Influential Marijuana Consumers” list. The pro-cannabis advocacy group puts this list together ever year to show America that current and former marijuana users–counter to mainstream “slacker” stereotypes–sit among the world’s most successful movers and shakers.

This year’s list didn’t see a whole lot of movement compared to 2014, with about 80% of last year’s names remaining on the list. Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Clarence Thomas, Jay-Z, and Stephen Colbert all hung tight in the top ten, while celebrities Miley Cyrus, Snoop Dog, Hugh Hefner, and Robert Downey Jr stayed in the bottom brackets. Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lawrence, Matthew McConaughey, and Katy Perry were all new additions while Michael Phelps, David Letterman, Maya Angelou, and Oliver Stone fell off the list completely.

Perhaps the most important and interesting addition this year was “2016 Presidential Hopefuls” coming in second place. Two of 2014’s names (Rand Paul and Lincoln Chaffee) were consolidated into this year’s “hopefuls” category. As MPP’s Director of Communications Mason Tvert explained, it’s likely that a plurality of this crop of candidates has partaken of the (mostly) forbidden plant:

“At least eight (and as many as 17) of the 23 major-party presidential hopefuls have said or strongly indicated that they have consumed marijuana: Jeb Bush, Lincoln Chafee, Ted Cruz, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, and Rick Santorum. Nine others do not appear to have said whether they have consumed marijuana, and they did not respond to inquiries from MPP: Joe Biden, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich, Bobby Jindal, Martin O’Malley, and Jim Webb. Only six candidates have said they never used marijuana: Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Donald Trump, and Scott Walker.”

Marijuana Policy Project’s list is put together using the same criteria that LGBT magazine Out utilizes when curating its “Power 50” list: “‘power to influence cultural and social attitudes, political clout, individual wealth, and a person’s media profile.’ To qualify for MPP’s list, individuals must (1) be alive, (2) be a U.S. citizen, and (3) have consumed marijuana at least once in their life according to either their own account or that of a legitimate source. They do not need to currently consume marijuana or support marijuana policy reform.”

Tvert emphasized the list’s intent to shatter stereotypes:

“We hope this list will make people question some of the anti-marijuana propaganda they’ve been hearing for so long. 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.”

Here is a complete list of the Top 50 Influential Marijuana Consumers, as determined by MPP (note the hilarious addition of #50):

1. Barack Obama

2. 2016 Presidential Hopefuls

3. Oprah Winfrey

4. Bill Clinton

5. John Kerry

6. Stephen Colbert

7. Clarence Thomas

8. Katy Perry

9. LeBron James

10. Jay Z

11. Bill Gates

12. George Soros

13. Jon Stewart

14. Bill Maher

15. Rush Limbaugh

16. Andrew Cuomo

17. Sanjay Gupta

18. George W. Bush

19. Seth MacFarlane

20. George Clooney

21. Lady Gaga

22. Ted Turner

23. Brad Pitt

24. Rihanna

25. Whoopi Goldberg

26. Morgan Freeman

27. Angelina Jolie

28. Conan O’Brien

29. Martha Stewart

30. Gov. John Hickenlooper (CO)

31. Gov. Charlie Baker (MA)

32. Tom Brokaw

33. Michael Bloomberg

34. Justin Timberlake

35. Aaron Sorkin

36. Glenn Beck

37. Al Gore

38. Matt Damon

39. Susan Sarandon

40. Madonna

41. Robert Downey, Jr.

42. Phil Jackson

43. Rick Steves

44. Jennifer Lawrence

45. Miley Cyrus

46. Jennifer Aniston

47. Matthew McConaughey

48. Snoop Dogg

49. Hugh Hefner

50. Maureen Dowd

Photo Credit for Featured Image: DonkeyHotey via flickr Creative Commons

Alibi writes weed news right here at Marijuana Politics, and infrequently updates The Stoner's Journal. You'll find him reviewing weird bands and editorializing here and there and from time to time.