MPP is pleased to announce the release of our annual list of the “Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Consumers” in the United States!
President Barack Obama is at the top of the list, followed by several 2016 presidential candidates. 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.
The list is intended to identify individuals who have used marijuana 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 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.
We’re excited to announce MPP’s second annual list of the Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Users! There has been quite a bit of variation since last year, including several additions and a number of people dropping in rank or off the list entirely.
To create the list, we adopted the criteria used by Out Magazine to select their “Power 50” list of LGBT Americans. That means our choices are based on “power to influence cultural and social attitudes, political clout, individual wealth, and a person’s media profile” – not just on popularity or support for marijuana policy reform. Fortunately, many of them have expressed support, but there are some “bad guys” on there, too.
As you look at the list, you will also notice that our selections do not consist entirely of current marijuana consumers. Rather, it is a list of the most influential Americans who have used marijuana at some point during their lives (although some of them do speak openly about their current use). The goal here is to dispel the myth that marijuana users are losers who lack motivation, and highlight the fact that they are typically productive and oftentimes quite successful people – particularly in these 50 cases!
In order to change marijuana laws, we need to change the way people view marijuana and those who use it. So please check out the 2013 list today, and then share it with your friends and relatives by posting a link on Facebook or bringing it up during a conversation.