For years, the word “rich” carries a broad range of possible connotations – classy, refined, eloquent, regal … and high? From smoking flower to consuming marijuana hash, the wealthy are dialed in.
Gone were the days when the wealthy are boxed within the “prim and proper” notion. Today, the newer generations of the top 1% are more than willing to break the strict expectations and experience a different dose of high and wildness.
From business tycoons, politicians, to award-winning artists, here are 8 of the richest cannabis users.
Get to know them:
Perhaps, it is safe to say that almost every guy has heard the name “George Zimmer” before. He is, after all, the founder and former CEO of the popular clothing chain, Men’s Warehouse. Although Zimmer was fired as executive chairman in 2013 due to his “unwillingness to hand over the reins,” the entrepreneur remains to be one of the biggest fish in the cannabis pond.
In fact, in 2010, Zimmer has openly showcased his support for the legalization of cannabis by donating a staggering $70, 500 to support the Proposition 19 in California.
Five years later, in an interview with CNBC, the former CEO said he has been regularly smoking marijuana for half a century already. When asked about his stand about the marijuana prohibition, Zimmer is quick to respond, saying: “This is the biggest con that has been perpetrated on this country in the last century.”
No one can debunk the unpleasant stereotypes linked to marijuana users more than the American billionaire Ted Turner. Not only is he famous for founding the first 24-hour news network, CNN, but he is also regarded as America’s second-largest individual landowner and a self-made billionaire. In 2014, Forbes estimated Ted Turner’s net worth at $2.2 billion. Today, Turner continues to rise as one of the top media tycoons in the country.
For years, Ted Turner has been rumored to have been a marijuana user. Some sources even claimed he had been caught growing marijuana in his dorm room at school. Although the mega-mogul refused to clarify the rumors, his vocal support for the legalization of cannabis and his consistent role as a sponsor of the Kentucky Hemp Museum already seem to confirm the report.
Richard Branson is not the kind to back out from anything – even from admitting he smokes marijuana. In fact, in an interview with GQ magazine, the founder of the Virgin empire had admitted he tried using cocaine, ecstasy, Viagra, and marijuana.
“I haven’t tried skunk, I have smoked cannabis though. I mean, I went with my son on his gap year, for God’s sake. We learned to surf and had some nights where we laughed our heads off for eight hours,” the multi-millionaire airline boss told Piers Morgan.
As a bonus, the British entrepreneur also said that the first person to teach him how to roll a joint is none other than Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.
For years, Branson has been one of the most devoted supporters of the legalization of marijuana and even said he’d put in on sale if it were to become legal.
No one lives the “American Dream” more accurately than Hugh Hefner. From astounding mansions, fanciful lifestyle, dream girls, to regular puffing of cannabis – this magazine tycoon seems to has it all. Despite his death in 2017, the founder and editor-in-chief of Playboy magazine remains to be one of the biggest faces of celebrity cannabis users.
“I don’t think there’s any question that marijuana should be legalized because to not legalize it, we’re paying the same price we paid for prohibition,” he told Fox News on 2010 when asked about his stand on the legalization of the plant. “In other words, it is a medical concern and it should be handled that way.”
In a book called High in America: The True Story Behind NORML and the Politics of Marijuana, Hefner shared how marijuana made him see sex in a different light. “Smoking helped put me in touch with the realm of the senses. I discovered a whole other dimension to sex. I discovered the difference between fucking and making love,” the Playboy magnate told Patrick Anderson.
Nothing tops Michael Bloomberg when it comes to being the face of success. Not only is he the co-founder and CEO of the financial, software, data, and media giant, Bloomberg L.P, but he also became a three-term Mayor of New York City. Forbes estimated his net worth to be a stunning $55B and was even hailed as the 9th richest people in the world.
In 2001, Bloomberg was asked by New York Magazine whether he had ever tried marijuana, in which he responded with the iconic line: “You bet I did. And I enjoyed it.”
He then later came to regret making the comment when the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Foundation unveiled a $500,000 ad campaign featuring his face alongside the quote.
“In terms of, I had, certainly when I was younger, as I suppose most people in my generation, experimented,” he told during a news conference. “I never lie, so if somebody asked me a question, I told them. Do I, in retrospect, wish I didn’t say it that day so they couldn’t quote it? Of course.”
However, despite his experience with the plant, Bloomberg was not fond of decriminalizing marijuana. In 2013, he even called medical marijuana “one of the greatest hoaxes of all time.”
The American business magnate and co-founder of Microsoft isn’t just commendable for having the world’s largest private charitable foundation but also for his vocal support for the legalization of marijuana13 in his home state of Washington.
Although the Microsoft’s mogul has been mum on whether he had used to smoke cannabis, his 1994 interview with Playboy seem to suggest a possible answer. During the said interview, Gates was asked if he had ever taken drugs, particularly LCD. He responded by saying: “My errant youth ended a long time ago.”
When asked to further his answer, the American entrepreneur only said: “That means there were things I did under the age of 25 that I ended up not doing subsequently.”
Bill Gates now stands as the top 2 richest individuals in the world, according to Forbes.
Aside from his vocal support for democratic ideals and causes, the Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros is also a faithful supporter of the legalization of marijuana. In fact, since 1984, he has been injecting more than $80 million of his money to various alliances and networks for the advancement of the legalization of marijuana.
Although he said he finds no use for drugs, the prominent international investor admitted he once tried smoking cannabis.
“I tried marijuana and enjoyed it, but it did not become a habit and I have not tasted it in many years,” Soros said in an interview.
As a well-known humanitarian, George Soros believed that the marijuana laws are doing more harm to people than good.
“The criminalization of marijuana did not prevent marijuana from becoming the most widely used illegal substance in the United States and many other countries. But it did result in extensive costs and negative consequences,” he asserted.
Perhaps, we can all agree that no other CEO could top the grand stature of Steve Jobs when it comes to the public realm. After all, who would forget the genius mind behind the Apple gadgets? In 2010, he was hailed by Forbes to be the 17th most powerful person. And even when he succumbed to cancer in 2011, he was still regarded as one of the leading pioneers of the microcomputer revolution.
Prior to his death, Jobs’ involvement in recreational drug use is not a secret to the public. In fact, he was even able to give a talk about his drug experiences, particularly with LSD and marijuana. During the interview, the Apple Co-Founder expressed that his use of LSD was one of the “two or three most important things” he ever did in his life. He also said he and his friends used to smoke marijuana and eat pot brownies for some time before. For Jobs, the reason behind his marijuana usage stems from the relaxing effect the plant provides, along with its creative significances.
Today, Steve Job’s legacy continues to affect the computer, wireless, and even cannabis industries.
After his death, Daniel Kottke, an old friend of Jobs’ told CNN that Jobs’ experiments with drugs stopped with the dawn of his company, Apple.
“Once Apple started, Steve was really focused with all of his energy on making Apple successful… and he didn’t need psychedelics for that,” he explained.
Surely, the “high” and wealthy will always have their own ways to stay on top. From CEOs, politicians, sports personalities, to celebrities, there always comes a broad list of rich people who find leisure in the company of the green plant.
Who among these people do you fancy sharing a joint with?