23 Dec Marijuana and Pop Culture
Check out Rihanna’s Instagram and you’ll find droves of images from photo shoots, family gatherings, and selfies. You’ll catch flicks of the pop star on the beach, in bikinis, doing cover shoots, and of course… smoking weed.
For decades, people have vilified the use of cannabis, often pegging it as “the gateway drug.” However, it’s been widely used throughout pop culture for just as long; it’s simply been a hush-hush affair until now. Now, with pop stars like Rihanna going public with their marijuana use, many negatives associated with cannabis are going right out the door.
Many celebrities are vocal about using cannabis these days. This is helping to transform this former street drug into one of class. These days, consumers can smoke or vape medical marijuana without losing their social status or reputation. Thanks to these vocal stars, we now know that it is possible to be a successful stoner.
Robyn Rihanna Fenty, also known by her stage name, Rihanna, was born in Saint Michael, Barbados on February 20, 1988. She went from recording demo takes to a record deal with Def Jam Records after auditioning with the label’s president, Jay Z, in 2005.
By 2006, Music of the Sun, the singer and songwriter’s debut studio album, and A Girl Like Me, its follow up, were already producing chart-topping hits. But, it was her third album release, Good Girl Gone Bad, that made her a legend, being compared to the likes of Michael Jackson’s Thriller album.
Rihanna went on to win numerous awards, including multiple Grammy awards, American Music Awards, People’s Choice Awards and more. She was also awarded the Icon Award and the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Her music has sold well over 200 million copies worldwide, claiming the spot of one of the best-selling music artists of all time for the pop singer.
Rihanna Influences More Than Music
The artist known as RiRi was named on Time Magazine’s world-famous list of 100 Most Influential People in the World. She was also presented with the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Fashion Icon Lifetime Achievement Award. This award honors her for using her individual style to impact pop culture.
In September 2016, Rihanna was appointed as the Global Ambassador of Global Partnership for Education (GPE). A partnership was created between GPE, the pop star’s Clara Lionel Foundation and Global Citizen, an international advocacy group. Together, they will campaign to help bring quality education to boys and girls in the poorest countries of the world.
Rihanna Advocates for Marijuana
Despite her advocacy work, and efforts to mentor young girls and boys, Rihanna does believe in the use of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes. As a matter of fact, she shares her thoughts on her Anti album track entitled “James Jones,” where the singer says:
“I’d rather be smoking weed whenever we breathe.”
Although still in its infancy, Rihanna’s advocacy for cannabis can be witnessed in her songs, videos and social media posts. Both Snapchat and Instagram users have been graced with images of the star smoking weed. Experts suggest she is actively helping to normalize the idea of smoking marijuana for those stuck inside the pop culture bubble.
Destiny Hope Cyrus was born on November 23, 1992, in Franklin, TN. The singer and actor commonly known as Miley Ray Cyrus, started with small roles on the Doc television series and the film Big Fish as a young child. By her teens, she had a major fanbase of her own as the star of Disney Channel’s hit series Hannah Montana.
By 2007, Cyrus was ready to tackle a new industry and released Meet Miley Cyrus, her debut studio album. It went on to become triple-platinum certified by RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), with well over three million units shipped. After her second album, the former Disney star launched her film career in the 2008 animated film Bolt as a voice actress.
Miley Cyrus Launches the Happy Hippie Foundation
Cyrus is a very vocal supporter who speaks out for the rights and beliefs of the LGBT community. She prefers performing in London because of its extensive gay presence and sports an equal sign tattoo on her ring finger to show her support for same-sex marriage.
In 2014, Cyrus took her advocacy for the LGBT community to new heights with the launch of her non-profit organization, the Happy Hippie Foundation. The group fights for the welfare and rights of the LGBTQ community, homeless youth, and women’s rights.
Cyrus says the goal is to help today’s youth learn to be kind to each other while changing the world. Some services provided include crisis prevention and response, meeting basic everyday needs, well-being support services, and public education services.
Miley Cyrus Advocates for Recreational Cannabis Use
The singer and actress has been quite open about her recreational marijuana use over the years. In 2013, the star told Rolling Stone magazine that she considers cannabis to be the “best drug on Earth.”
Cyrus went on to refer to it as the “happy drug.” She was even rumored to have smoked what many thought was a joint while performing on stage at the 2013 MTV Europe Music Awards. In 2014, Miley told W in an interview that she just loves “getting stoned.”
Despite the star’s use of marijuana, today Miley Cyrus is worth a reported estimated net value of about $200 million. From sold out concerts, she’s earned $201 million, with $76 million coming in from endorsements. The lifetime earnings of this successful stoner from 2001 to 2017 are reportedly in excess of $360 million.
Madonna Louise Ciccone, known to pop culture fans as simply Madonna, was born in Bay City, Michigan on August 16, 1958. The pop legend is world-famous for her continuous reinvention of her image and her music. Her critically-acclaimed music productions have generated quite a bit of controversy over the decades.
Ciccone has maintained her autonomy throughout her successful music career. Some of her biggest hits, “Like a Virgin,” “Material Girl,” “Vogue,” “Like a Prayer,” and “Papa Don’t Preach” have won the artists some renowned awards. In time, as she continued to crank out hits, the star gained the nicknames “Queen of Pop” and “Queen of Reinvention” in the industry.
Madonna, the Catholic Religion, and Jewish Mysticism
The Material Girl grew up in a Catholic home. She says that the Catholic faith of her strict parents played a serious role in her childhood. Her home was always overrun with nuns and priests, who were welcomed by her religious zealot mother.
Some of the most controversial musical works of Madonna depict the Catholic iconography she grew up with all around her home. From the nuns’ habits at her elementary school to the Sacred Heart statues and prayer altar held so dearly, Madonna was overwhelmed with religion all around her.
When she was just five years old, Madonna’s mother died from breast cancer. She then went to live with and be raised by her father and step-mother, whom she says treated her like Cinderella. As a teen, she chose to rebel by turning her back on her traditional Catholic upbringing, dressing more provocatively and hanging out at underground gay clubs.
Today, pop culture icon Madonna is just as well-known for her Jewish mysticism studies. She’s been very vocal about her fascination and interest in Kabbalah. It’s said to hold the secrets embedded in the Five Books of Moses, also known as the Torah.
Madonna and Marijuana
Back in 1994, Madonna appeared on the at the Ed Sullivan Theater show where she dropped the “F-word” numerous times, taking the host aback. Later, she recalled the event in a 1994 Late Show with David Letterman interview.
She told the talk show host that the reason she kept dropping the F-bomb was that she was admittedly high on marijuana. This placed the pop star on the ever-growing list of successful stoners.
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta is affectionately known to fans as Lady Gaga. She was born on the upper east side of Manhattan on March 28th, 1986. After Def Jam recordings dropped her contract, she became a Sony/ATV Music Publishing professional songwriter.
Eventually, singer and producer Akon took notice of her talent. He helped Gaga land a major deal with Interscope Records and his own label known as KonLive Distribution. In 2008, she released The Fame, her debut album, which received both commercial and critical success.
By January 2016, Lady Gaga had reached global album sales of 27 million, with 146 million singles sold. This placed the pop culture icon on the list of best-selling musicians of all time.
She’s been the recipient of multiple Brit Awards, Grammy Awards, Guinness World Records and a Fashion Icon Lifetime Achievement Award. The singer is a regular on Forbes’ power lists.
Lady Gaga’s Activism Efforts
Gaga is world-famous for her social activism and philanthropic works. She’s also a very vocal supporter of LGBT rights. That’s why she established the Born This Way Foundation (BTWF) in 2011, a non-profit organization dedicated to combatting bullying and promoting the empowerment of youth. Founded with Cynthia Germanotta, the pop singer’s mother, BTWF operates from the Harvard University campus.
Also in 2011, Mathieu Deflem, a sociologist dedicated a course in the honor of Lady Gaga’s influence on modern culture. The course, which is entitled “Lady Gaga and the Sociology of the Fame,” is offered at the University of South Carolina, and covers “sociologically relevant dimensions of the fame” of the pop star.
In 2016, People Magazine published a story where Lady Gaga admitted to being addicted to marijuana. She cites the physical and mental challenges of dealing with her career as her reason for smoking weed, including a hip injury that left her in pain. The pop culture icon told the Z100 Morning Show that at one point, she was smoking 15-20 joints per day just to cope with anxiety.
Justin Randall Timberlake was born in Memphis, TN on January 31, 1981. The pop star made his public debut on the Star Search TV series at the age of 11, performing as country music singer Justin Randall.
In 1993, now known as Justin Timberlake, he was cast on The New Mickey Mouse Club. He did his acting alongside other soon-to-be-famous stars like Britney Spears (whom he later dated), Christina Aguilera, JC Chasez, Keri Russell and Ryan Gosling. In time, Chasez was recruited by Timberlake to become a part of the all-male pop singing group N*SYNC.
Timberlake went on to record numerous group and solo albums. He also launched a very successful movie acting career, with his first role being that of a journalist in the 2004 film, Edison Force.
Justin Timberlake’s Career Success & Political Activism
It was in 2008 when the pop singer realized that he’d arrived. That’s the year Forbes magazine started reporting the star’s annual earnings. Between June 2007 and June 2008, the singer earned a reported $44 million for music sales, hospitality, commercials, and tours. This won Timberlake the title of the Fourth Best-Paid Music Personality in the World at the time, surpassing both Celine Dion and Madonna.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Justin Timberlake endorsed candidate Barack Obama publicly. And, in 2016, he hosted a Democratic fundraiser for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Los Angeles, CA. He is also an avid advocate for LGBT equality and same-sex marriage.
Justin Timberlake Speaks Out About Marijuana
Fans are well aware of Justin’s pot-smoking habits. Towards the end of 2002, he appeared the candid camera-style prank show Punk’d, where he cried during the filming of the episode. Later, he admitted to the press that he was high on cannabis when he was pranked.
Timberlake also admitted to being a stoner in a 2011 Playboy interview. He told the reporter that pot helps him relax and simply stop thinking. Smoking weed is his way of turning his brain off. The successful stoner notes that some people are just “better high.”