Peter Tosh

They Fought for Pot

Twelve celebrities who have taken a stand to 'legalize it.'

Despite rapidly changing views on cannabis, speaking out for the legalization of pot (or even admitting you've used it) has not always been a popular stance to take. From an ex-NFL player turned activist to a former politician whose views have "evolved," meet 12 people who have used their celebrity status to fight for a higher calling. (Pictured: Peter Tosh sits in a cannabis field in Westmoreland, Jamaica circa 1975.)

ALLEN GINSBERG Bettmann/Bettmann Archive ALLEN GINSBERG It's no secret that the Beats were fans of getting high. One of the most outspoken of the crew was Ginsberg, who was known for showing up at pro-pot rallies (pictured above in 1965). In 1966, he penned a manifesto for The Atlantic called "The Great Marijuana Hoax: First Manifesto to End the Bringdown," in which he criticized the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics for spreading a "black cloud of negative propaganda on marijuana," and praised cannabis as "a metaphysical herb" whose smoke "is no more disruptive than Insight." RICKY WILLIAMS Robert Beck/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images RICKY WILLIAMS Easily the NFL's most outspoken pot smoker, Williams has long advocated for the legalization of medical marijuana and has been vocal about how using it helped him throughout his career. He told High Times in 2016, "I think the choices I made allowed me to play 11 years in the NFL and rush for over 10,000 yards, and then be able to walk away from the game and be healthy." Following his NFL career, which was marred by several failed drug tests, Williams became a student of holistic medicine and now owns a line of cannabis-based products called "Real Wellness by Ricky Williams." SUSAN SARANDON Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images SUSAN SARANDON In 2016, the Oscar-winning actress lent her voice in support of an Arizona proposition that would have legalized possession and consumption of cannabis for adults 21 and older. With only 48.7% of the vote, the proposition failed to pass, but Arizona residents still got a sweet voice message from Sarandon. DOUG BENSON Maarten de Boer DOUG BENSON The comedian has made an entire career around getting high. In 2008, Benson starred in "Super High Me," a play-on 2004's "Super Size Me," where the actor consumed cannabis every day for 30 days straight before undergoing rigorous physical and medical tests. Aside from a few added pounds, Benson's doctor concluded that the effects on the comedian's health were generally inconsequential. PETER TOSH Lee Jaffe/Getty Images PETER TOSH An outspoken activist who was often targeted by the police in Jamaica (where weed was just recently decriminalized), the reggae star's 1975 protest album, "Legalize It," has long been an unofficial anthem for cannabis activists around the world. "Doctors smoke it / Nurses smoke it / Judges smoke it / Even lawyer, too / So you've got to legalize it / And don't criticize it /Legalize it, yeah." ILANA GLAZER AND ABBI JACOBSON Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images ILANA GLAZER AND ABBI JACOBSON Cheech and Chong may have been the first stoners to reach rock star status, but the dynamic duo behind "Broad City" are taking the genre to whole new levels. With episodes titled "P***y Weed" and "Mushrooms," Glazer and Jacobson have proven once and for all that stoner comedy isn't just for the dudes. WILLIE NELSON Hulton Archive/Getty Images WILLIE NELSON If you're surprised to see Willie Nelson on this list, well, must not know much about Willie Nelson. Not only does the country music legend grow and sell his own line of cannabis called "Willie's Reserve," but the 84-year-old also co-authored the New York Times best seller "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die" (also the name of his 2012 duet with fellow-smoker Snoop Dogg). (Pictured: Nelson smokes a joint at his home in Texas in the early 2000s.) MONTEL WILLIAMS Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call,Inc. MONTEL WILLIAMS In 2005, the Emmy-winning talk show host publically advocated for the States Rights to Medical Marijuana Act - a bipartisan campaign which aimed to protect medical marijuana patients from being arrested. Williams, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and uses cannabis to help manage his pain, now owns his own line of high-quality medical marijuana products called "Lenitiv Labs." ROBERT PLANT GAB Archive/Redferns ROBERT PLANT The Led Zeppelin front man, who also has a strain of cannabis named after him, has been sending us secret messages about legalizing pot since the early 70s. The band's 1971 track "Misty Mountain Hop," which many thought was an ode to J.R.R. Tolkien, is actually about a scene that Plant witnessed at a pro-pot rally. "It's about a bunch of hippies getting busted," he explained. (Pictured: Robert Plant (center), and fellow Band Of Joy members John Elson, Steve Taylor, and Dave Evans, picket with a group of demonstrators in England circa 1967.) HUGH HEFNER Bettmann/Bettmann Archive HUGH HEFNER The late Playboy mogul was a cannabis activist long before it was cool. In 1970, Hefner contributed $5,000 from the Playboy Foundation to help lay the groundwork for NORML (The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), and continued to be a top financier throughout his life. JOHN BOEHNER JOHN BOEHNER Earlier this year, the cannabis industry found an unlikely spokesman: John Boehner. The former Speaker of the House, who said he was "unalterably opposed" to legalization during his time in Washington, announced that we would be joining the advisory board for Acreage Holdings, a company that dispenses cannabis across the U.S.