Earlier this week the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) released its annual list of the “Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Consumers” in the United States, with President Barack Obama topping the list.
The list is available below and by clicking here.
“About one out of every two Americans has used marijuana, including a whole lot of very successful people,” said Mason Tvert, MPP’s director of communications. “There are a lot more out there that we don’t know about because it is illegal. Marijuana is a less harmful substance than alcohol. Adults who use it responsibly should not have to choose between keeping it a secret or admitting to a crime.”
President Barack Obama tops the list, followed by “2016 presidential candidates hopefuls”, which includes eight of the 23 major-party presidential candidates who have said or strongly indicated that they have consumed cannabis. These include Jeb Bush, Lincoln Chafee, Ted Cruz, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, and Rick Santorum. Only six candidates have satated that they’ve never used cannabis: Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Donald Trump, and Scott Walker.
Oprah Winfrey is next on the list at 3rd, followed by Bill Clinton and John Kerry. Stephen Colbert, Clarence Thomas, Katy Perry, LeBron James and Jay Z round out the top 10.
“In addition to potentially becoming our next president, these marijuana consumers are playing a major role in the national political dialogue,” Tvert said. “Win or lose, they are guiding the debate and influencing the positions of others both within and outside of their parties.
“Of the nearly two dozen major-party candidates running for president, fewer than one-third are willing and able to admit they never used marijuana,” Tvert said. “And one of them is married to the fourth most influential marijuana consumer in America. Times have changed, and so have public attitudes toward marijuana.”
The list is intended to identify individuals who have used cannabis and achieved high levels of success or influence. It was created using the same criteria employed by Out Magazine to produce its “Power 50” list of LGBT Americans, such as “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 cannabis 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 cannabis or support marijuana policy reform.
“We hope this list will make people question some of the anti-marijuana propaganda they’ve been hearing for so long,” Tvert said. “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.”
The full top 50 list can be viewed by clicking here.