Smart and famous pot smokers

I’m not a pot smoker, but I know some highly successful people who are, and I understand the need for medicinal marijuana. One example, some dear friends of ours, is here. In addition, we’re on the road to legalizing marijuana in California, no doubt about it.

As the debate on Measure W heats up, this makes it hard to understand where some of our towns’ most ardent anti-pot activists, including obnoxious ones such as Don Bessee, are coming from.

“I am sick of losing real hi tech business opportunities who look elsewhere after a visit because the owners and employees don’t want to raise kids immersed in the weed culture,” Bessee writes on George Rebane’s blog. “Then think about the kind or retirees that would love an area like this, especially fat pension retired government workers like cops, fire, medical and so on.”

But it’s out of touch. High tech people also smoke pot (see list below and read “The 10 smartest pot smokers on our planet.”). This list includes Steve Jobs, Carl Sagan, Nobel prize winner Francis Crick, physicist Richard Feynman, anthropologist Margaret Mead, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and others.

Like it or not, the “weed culture” is intertwined in our culture; you can’t put the “genie back in the bottle.” People such as Bessee (whose resume isn’t as impressive as anyone on these lists, LOL) are catalysts for a “culture war” in our towns. They are intolerant and only want “like-minded” people among them. But we are a diverse bunch.

Sure, we have to manage marijuana and marijuana grows, but we have to work together. The handling of this issue has already been polarizing. It is going to get out the vote in June, that’s for sure.

Here are the top 50 most influential marijuana consumers, according to The Cannabist. Click on the link for more details:

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

About jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.
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2 Responses to Smart and famous pot smokers

  1. jeffpelline says:

    Hard-right political activist and blogger Russ Steele is as out of touch with pot smoking as he is with global warming. (He gets his “talking points” on global warming from a former Chico weatherman). Steele, the FUC or “former Union columnist,” puts words in my mouth on Rebane’s blog writing, “Jeff Pelline is promoting the approval of recreation marijuana use in Nevada County and the local high-tech industries because smart and famous people use pot.”

    I’m not “promoting” the approval of recreational marijuana use in Nevada County, I’m acknowledging that it exists — everywhere. You can’t put that “genie back in the bottle.” Go ahead and administer drug tests to employees, but don’t for a minute think that an outdoor ban on cultivation will somehow change people’s habits. What foolish logic. Like Bessee, Russ epitomizes the “refer madness” mindset of a bygone era. These people perpetrate the “culture wars” in our community but they do not solve the systemic problems. And never have.

  2. Annie Fox says:

    Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck?

    What Bessee doesn’t understand is that he and his ilk are not attracting the high tech businesses here. Point in case, Silicon Valley – that little old region in the bay area known for mj users. Lots of high tech businesses.

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