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.
On his wonderfully fair and balanced show on Thursday, Bill O’Reilly was nice enough to highlight our Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Users list. He then started on a long rant, joined by his co-hosts, about the evils and deadly health risks associated with using marijuana. Apparently, these folks didn’t quite get the message.
O’Reilly seems to think that MPP just wants everyone to use marijuana, and that the organization “devotes its life to trying to convince you to get stoned and inebriated.” What he fails to understand, and what many supporters of prohibition refuse to believe, is that marijuana reform is not about getting high. It is about changing our obviously failed policies that put non-violent adults in jail while making it easier for young people to obtain. It is about changing the focus of law enforcement away from people who are already using marijuana and allowing police to focus on more serious crimes.
Papa Bear and friends also didn’t understand the message behind the list, which is that these influential marijuana users likely would not be where they are today had they been arrested for marijuana. How much human potential are we squandering when we arrest three quarters of a million people for marijuana possession every year, saddling them with a criminal record that limits their educational options and job opportunities?
After totally missing the point, the three pundits then proceeded to rattle off a long series of completely inaccurate and unsubstantiated talking points about how marijuana is deadly and will turn you into a zombie. They covered all the bases, too, from the debunked gateway theory to the “lazy stoner” myth.
It is really pretty sad, considering a brief look at MPP’s website would have clarified our mission for O’Reilly and provided all of them with actual scientific research on the effects of marijuana.
And we’re the lazy ones?
Here’s the video. Try not to throw anything through your screen.
Today, we’re really excited to be announcing the final list of the 2012 Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Users! Over 3,000 of our supporters voted to help us develop the final list – which can be seen here – so thank you for your input!
The final list is a combination of MPP’s 13 automatic qualifiers (including President Obama and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, among 11 others) and the 37 individuals who received the most votes from our list of 150+ nominees. We borrowed the great definition used by Out Magazine for their “Power 50” list to rank these 50 individuals by their “power to influence cultural and social attitudes, political clout, individual wealth, and a person’s media profile.”
It was really interesting to see who made the final cut and who just missed out. Actors made up 40% of the final list with 20 people, and Morgan Freeman took the #1 spot in terms of total votes, appearing in over 33% of the survey responses. Politicians, with 11 finalists, and entertainers (with 7 finalists, including Jon Stewart, who comes in at #7 on our list), rounded out the second and third place categories.
There were a few people who I thought would make the final list who didn’t end up making the cut, including Lady Gaga (#52), Glenn Beck (#63), and Wiz Khalifa (#86). These are some pretty big names within their respective categories, but they ended up missing out. It was also interesting that only five musicians made the final list; I certainly was expecting a few more (including the two mentioned above)!
Since this will be an annual list, we’re looking forward to seeing how much changes over the next year. There are sure to be some significant names who drop off the list, as well as new additions who either just missed out this year or weren’t even eligible yet because we weren’t aware of their past (or current) marijuana use.
If you haven’t already, check out the final list, and leave a comment below with your thoughts! Who didn’t make the cut that should have? Who do you think is most likely to drop off over the next year? Was someone not even nominated who should have been? We want to hear from you, so be sure to let us know what you think! Again, thanks for voting!
It seems like every day there’s a new story out about someone famous using marijuana – but it doesn’t seem to stop these people from reaching the highest offices in the land. Whether we’re talking about the Oval Office or the box office, some of the most influential people in this country have used marijuana. This year, we at MPP want to see which individuals who have tried marijuana make the cut for the 2012 Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Users List!
Rather than just produce a list, we really want to get your input on who should be considered for the 2012 Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Users. So, we’re opening the nominations to all of our supporters – just leave a comment here on this blog post with someone you think should be on the list (and if you’ve got a source backing up their use, please include that as well). We’ll compile a list of all of those who made the cut.
Then, in early August, we’re going to open up the voting! You’ll get to choose from over 100 individuals to let us know which people you think should make the Top 50 list.
In order to qualify for the 2012 Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Users List, the person must:
(a) have tried marijuana at least once;
(b) be alive; and
(c) must be living in the U.S. or be a U.S. citizen.
Now, this isn’t a popularity contest or a list of supportive users. We’re looking for people who are influential – and to determine this, we want to borrow the great definition that Out Magazine uses for their “Power 50” list. To determine who makes the final list, we want you to vote for those who have the “power to influence cultural and social attitudes, political clout, individual wealth, and a person’s media profile.”
We’re really excited about creating this list and seeing who makes the final cut, and we hope you are as well!