Cannabis has always been linked to creativity, and with reason, as artists of many sorts and from many different periods have been known to work under the influence of the plant in one form or another.
In the contemporary music industry, a number of performers have made cannabis consumption part of their identity: Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dog, Rihanna, Cypress Hill, the Wu-Tang Clan … the list is long, and could very well equal the population of a small country.
The most loquacious of them even write about it, a phenomenon which after a few decades, makes for a long list of so-called “pot songs”. These are generally considered upliftingly enthusiastic works of art which provide some sort of a cultural validation for the average, regular pot smoker. However, to the less cannabis-savvy person, they may just sound like brainless incitement to consume illicit substances, and the intended message might not come across as well as intended.
Some artists, on the other hand, are much more discreet when it comes to this topic, at least in regards to the creative aspect of their persona(lity). There is a terrible lack of representation of the high functioning, low-profile cannabis consumer. Not only do these artists represent this missing demographic, they also lead by example, rather than by media-induced positional power. Between backstage pictures and background joints, many musicians such as Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones or Justin Timberlake have “accidentally” been outed as cannabis consumers, and continue to be on a regular basis, without it having anything to do with their work, be it then or now.
On the other hand, some public depictions of cannabis consumption in the music industry are not entirely positive. But this might actually explain why they seem right; these artists encounter regular “stoner problems” and don’t mind mentioning them when asked. For instance, Neil Young, who once wrote a song entitled “Roll Another Number (For the Road)”, actually decided to stop smoking cannabis (and drinking alcohol), so he could be more “alert” while writing his memoir. He stated that he wanted to try not being under the influence of anything, to “see how it would feel like”. In other words, Neil Young decided to take a pause on cannabis and get high on life – and admittedly, for creative purposes, thus sitting nowhere near the supposed struggle that distancing oneself from cannabis addiction is. Rapper Kid Cudi also stopped smoking cannabis, tired of being a “token druggie”. Lady Gaga confessed she used cannabis extensively, as in, too much for her taste, to fight surgery-induced pain. Nothing new under the sun for all those who participate in the world of cannabis.
Finally, in recent years, the invisible boundary separating recreational use and medicinal use – at least according to the media – has started fading. Personalities fervently anchored in the recreational aspect of cannabis are actively campaigning for medicinal cannabis’ sake, participating in science-oriented projects and tell-all documentaries, and much more. A few weeks ago, Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa released a snippet of their next collaboration, while, essentially, promoting a cannabis-based product made of dried weed, oil and kief. Get ready, world. Soon, more random artists will be selling you treats.