For example, Janet Jackson showed up at the Oscars wearing a pot-leaf belt-buckle inscribed with the word "Marley." Although People magazine ran a full-length photo and described her ensemble, they neglected to make any comment on her pro-pot fashion statement.
Jackson isn't the first soul sister singer with a love for the forbidden weed. Whitney Houston got busted in January 2001, after she was caught with a half-ounce of buds in a Hawaii airport. Since airport security doesn't have the authority to arrest or detain people, Houston just left the bag and boarded a flight with husband Bobby Brown to San Francisco.
Houston's lawyers had her Hawaiian record cleared within a few months. The Hawaiian judge dismissed the misdemeanor possession charges after a drug counselor declared that Houston did not have a substance abuse problem.
The Houston family's pot troubles were just beginning, however, as Whitney's brother Michael was busted on May 7, 2002. Supposedly pulled over for a traffic violation, police claim to have found two bags of pot, 14 roaches and some cocaine in his rental car. He pleaded not guilty to possession and driving while intoxicated.
Five days later, Whitney Houston's cousin Dionne Warwick was also busted for pot in an airport. Security at Miami International Airport found 11 thin joints in Warwick's lipstick container, and she was charged with possession.
Warwick's agent claimed she used the herb as medicine for her glaucoma. The five-time Grammy award winner and former pitchwoman for the Psychic Friends Network faces up to a year in prison if convicted.
Jackson, Houston and Warwick's hemp habits were all pre-dated by the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, who was well known to use cannabis. Busted for pot in January 1998, Brown told the local media he smoked small quantities of marijuana for medicinal purposes. "I have bad eyes. It was just a little tiny bit. It wasn't even a misdemeanor." The charges were later dropped.
Janet's toking history
To those who follow her career and love-life, Jackson's choice of buckle shouldn't come as a surprise, as she's been known to consort with a few pro-pot personages herself. For instance, Jackson has been dating Matthew McConaughey, star of films including the classic cannabis flick Dazed and Confused. In October 1999, McConaughey was arrested in his Texas home for possession of pot and paraphernalia ? police officers had come to his house after noise complaints from neighbors, and found him naked, playing the bongos, with a loaded bong at his side.
Although he spent the night in jail, the paraphernalia charges were quickly dropped after he agreed to pay a $50 fine for violating noise ordinances. Truly, celebrities are different than us regular folk, for whom such charges rarely disappear.
In a nod to 1930's reefer culture, Jackson paired herself with Cab Calloway in her 1990 music video Alright. Calloway is most famous for his classic pot song That Funny Reefer Man, which topped the charts in 1939.
Cab Calloway was only one of the many great musicians, singers, actors and entertainers whom Harry Anslinger, Federal Bureau of Narcotics Commissioner, kept extensive files on during the 1940's. Another one was Milton Berle.
Milton Berle, the world's first TV star, died on March 27, 2002, at the age of 93. Although his death and biography were widely reported, not a single obituary mentioned that Berle had been a pot smoker. Best known for appearing with a cigar, Berle was a marijuana user in his youth, one of a great many reefer-loving entertainers of the era.
We can't confirm if Berle continued to toke in his later years, although he would have been well-advised to toke up after suffering a stroke in 1998.
Anslinger kept tabs on most of his era's greatest toking entertainers, including Jackie Gleason, Bennie Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie and many others. Anslinger had hoped to round them all up in a single marijuana sweep, but the plan was quietly nixed by his superiors. Perhaps it was feared that if Americans learned that all their favorite entertainers were tokers the whole nation would rush to try this exciting new herb.
Anslinger was likely equally infuriated by Berle's featuring non-white entertainers on his immensely popular TV show, The Texaco Star Theater. "There is no room for prejudice in our profession," said Berle famously, although neglecting to mention that he had changed his name from the more obviously Jewish Mendel Berlinger.
Pitt to quit?
Last issue we reported on Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston as one of our favorite celebrity stoner pairs. Yet now it seems there's been a change at their once hemp-friendly household. According to stalwart tabloid journal The Star, Aniston fears that their toking ways might be interfering with their efforts to have a child.
Now although we at Cannabis Culture respect her right to abstain from pot, while pregnant or otherwise, she might want to read up on some earlier articles from our fine magazine, which discuss how cannabis can be of great benefit to pregnant women and new mothers alike (CC#14, Pregnancy and Pot, CC#16, Ganja Mothers, Ganja Babies).
The April 26 Star reported that Aniston had quit toking, and has been "begging" Pitt to do the same. The tabloid claims that Pitt doesn't toke inside the house when Aniston is home, and quotes an anonymous friend who says "it may not sound like much, but at least it's a start."
Pitt might want to take some pro-pot parenting lessons from Johnny Depp, who lives in Paris with his wife and their two infant children. Over the years, Depp has taken on a number of prominent drug-related roles, including playing Hunter S Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, cocaine dealer George Jung in Blow, and an opium-using police inspector in From Hell.
Earlier in his career Depp occasionally busted pot dealers as Officer Tom Hanson in 21 Jump Street, yet he's always been known as a user of mind-altering substances. When his engagement to Winona Rider broke up, he had his "Winona Forever" tattoo changed to "Wino Forever." Depp is also the owner of hip Hollywood club 'The Viper Room,' although things hit a downer in 1993 when actor River Phoenix died of a "multiple drugs overdose" on the sidewalk out front. Phoenix should have just stuck to the reefer.
In a recent interview with Swedish magazine Expressen, Depp claimed to have stopped using most illegal drugs, but he still rated different drug highs. "Opium makes you completely relaxed. It's dangerous because it's so nice. Cocaine is a strange drug? I hated cocaine." Depp compared absinthe to marijuana, except "if you drink too much absinthe, you suddenly realize why van Gogh cut his ear off."
So does Depp still toke? "Look, I have nothing to hide," said Depp In a June 2001 interview with Film Review Magazine. "I'm not a great pothead or anything like that? but weed is much, much less dangerous than alcohol."
So Pitt can always reassure his worried wife by telling her that Johnny Depp fathered two beautiful, healthy kids while still partaking of the happy herb.
Although it's true that pot use can temporarily lower sperm count, the effect wears off quickly, and is only really significant if the toker is already lacking in sperm, a condition which seems unlikely with such a virile stud-muffin as Mr Pitt. At Cannabis Culture we wouldn't be surprised if Pitt is just holding back his full potency, so he can continue to enjoy his blushing bride before they embark on the journey of parenthood together.
We'd recommend they both cuddle up by the fire with a bongload of fine hashish and let nature take its course. Now there's a home video we'd like to see ? celebrity pot-porn in the tradition of sexy stoners Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee.
Viewers who made it to the end of Pam and Tommy's famously stolen sexy home video got to see Anderson rolling a joint in the hot tub after enjoying matrimonial pleasures with her then-husband. She also takes the post-coital moment to tell him how she makes the world's finest pot chili burgers!
Actually, Anderson has a long history with the herb. Born and raised in BC, she was no doubt exposed to the kind at an early age. Although she began her career as the Labatt's Beer "Blue Zone" girl and currently stars as a high-glam babe in VIP, the nine-time Playboy cover-girl is a hippie-chick at heart ? she's a vegetarian animal-rights activist who gave birth to her two kids at home with a midwife.
Sadly, she'll now qualify for med-pot from her local compassion club, after having contracted Hepatitis C from Tommy Lee while sharing a tattoo needle when they were married.
Happily, the Baywatch babe's new beau also enthusiastically supports her pro-pot ways. According to the latest celebrity gossip, Anderson's upcoming wedding to bad-boy rocker Kid Rock will feature her in denim shorts and a bra-top, Rock in a leopard-skin vest, leather pants and a felt hat, and the best man in an "Up With Marijuana" t-shirt. Sounds like a party, and it earns them the new title of CC's stoner celebrity couple of the month!