5 Most Influential Cannabis Advocates in the World


1. Mary Jane Rathbun

2. Jack Herer

3. Steve DeAngelo

4. Keith Stroup

5. Lester Grinspoon

Other Influential Cannabis Activists

Become a Weed Advocate

The marijuana industry is booming as more states and countries legalize the use of this substance. One of the main factors in weed’s increased popularity and legalization is the role of cannabis advocates.

These are enthusiasts who’ve dedicated their lives and resources to campaign for the usage and sale of marijuana. Their influence has led to companies setting up shops to sell related products, including cannabis nutrients for improved home growing.

Keep reading to find out the most famous advocates who’ve contributed largely to the growth of the cannabis industry.

1. Mary Jane Rathbun

Brownie Mary is among the key marijuana activists that promoted the use of medical cannabis. This die-hard advocate used to bake and sell brownies infused with weed.

She was arrested three times, and one of her sentences involved doing 500 hours of community service. While serving a sentence at an AIDS support organization, she started administering weed brownies to sick patients.

Mary Jane baked the brownies at her apartment, then delivered the cannabis and CBD-based products to patients to ease their pain and reduce nausea.

Mary explained weed’s medical benefits to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The revelation prompted them to minimize arresting people selling medical marijuana. This board also declared August 25th as Brownie Mary Day, celebrated annually in San Francisco.

2. Jack Herer

The “Hemperor,” or Emperor of Hemp, is one of the most famous weed people who advocated for marijuana. Due to his popularity, he has a cannabis strain named after him. The Jack Herer strain has numerous awards and recognitions, including the 7th High Times Cannabis Cup.

By the 1970s, Herer was openly supporting the legalization of cannabis. The activism earned him recognition as the founding father of the pro-cannabis movement. In 1985, he wrote a book titled The Emperor Wears No Clothes, which some people call the Bible of Hemp.

This famous weed smoker teamed up with Ed Adair and established the first hemp store in the US in Venice Beach, California.

Jack Herer died of a heart attack in April 2010. Unfortunately, he passed away before he was able to see the fruits of his activism efforts. Thanks to him and many others, medical marijuana has become legal in more states and areas worldwide.

3. Steve DeAngelo

Since the 1970s, when he first began his legalization movement, Steve DeAngelo has dedicated his life to being a marijuana advocate. He aims to propagate the cannabis plant to everyone.

Steve’s effort hasn’t been in vain since he has garnered numerous awards during his journey. These include the Peter Tosh Equal Rights Award (2019) and High Times Lifetime Achievements Award (2015).

He’s also a member of the Marijuana Business Daily Hall of Fame. In 2019, Steve established the Last Prisoner Project, one of the most successful advocacy organizations.

True to his word, the Last Prisoner Project has been a great success since it opened. The foundation has assisted in releasing numerous prisoners serving various cannabis-related sentences in correctional facilities.

Former California Assembly Speaker and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown Jr. named Steve DeAngelo the “Father of the Legal Cannabis Industry” because of his contributions.

Steve is also a co-founder of popular cannabis organizations. These include:

  • The National Cannabis Industry Association: A marijuana trade association.
  • Steep Hill Laboratory: The first lab fully dedicated to cannabis studies and tests.
  • The Arcview Group: The first investment firm for marijuana enthusiasts.

4. Keith Stroup

This activist is one of the most famous weed smokers in history. He launched the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), which started advocating marijuana law reform in 1970.

Keith served as the group’s executive director from 1970 to 1979 before taking an extended break until 1994. Stroup’s exit from the organization didn’t stop the other members. NORML has successfully pushed 11 states to stop charging people with minor cannabis offenses.

When he returned, the famous pot smoker pushed for modifying weed legalization for the ensuing ten years. He has received numerous awards for his contributions. These include:

  • High Times Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012
  • A1 Horn Award for Advancing the Cause of Justice in 2010
  • Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Drug Policy Reform in 1992.

Stroup routinely travels across the country to educate people on the dangers posed by some outmoded marijuana laws.

5. Lester Grinspoon

Dr. Grinspoon is among the cannabis advocates who made significant contributions to the marijuana industry. He started studying the plant in 1967, aiming to prove its harmful effects. His research showed that weed was not dangerous but rather beneficial.

Lester authored weed-related books such as Marihuana Reconsidered and Marijuana: The Forbidden Medicine. Many people have commended him for his contributions to popularizing cannabis.

Dr. Grinspoon ran the Uses of Marijuana and Marijuana: The Forbidden Medicine websites for weed enthusiasts. NORML named the Lester Grinspoon Lifetime Achievement award after him.

Other Influential Cannabis Activists

Due to the growing popularity of weed, more activists are coming up to support the legalization of marijuana. These include famous female celebrities who smoke this herb and advocate for people to use it.

These advocates’ positive influence plays a huge role in the growth of the cannabis industry. Other popular weed smokers and activists include:

  • Snoop Dogg
  • Wiz Khalifa
  • Willie Nelson
  • Morgan Freeman
  • Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Become a Weed Advocate

If you’re lucky enough to enjoy cannabis freely, remember that the activists in this article played a role in making weed legal. Are you also ready to become an advocate? Buy seeds and grow cannabis at home. While at it, use your social media influence to spread the good news about this herb.


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