Art has many forms. Some people have a way with words, while some are able to weave beautiful melodies from different sounds. The more traditional way we think of art, however, is the visual kind, when we conceive colorful paintings, photographs, and drawings. Art is how we humans express ourselves by translating what we gain from our imagination into a language that other people can experience.
But art doesn’t happen all the time. People often need inspiration in order to produce it. Sometimes, they even encounter creative blocks that can hinder them for an inordinate period of time from achieving the end of their artistic goals. When this happens, artists have been known to turn to stimulants to wake their imagination so they can give birth to new creations. Even performers have used drugs to set them in the right mood before they walk out to the stage.
Since ideas are born in the mind, some people believe that mood-altering drugs like marijuana can have a profound effect on their art.
Famous people who have used marijuana
Marijuana. Pot. Hemp. Although the laws around cannabis have changed over time, humanity’s relationship and enthusiasm for it has only grown stronger since the early Asians first decided to cultivate this robust plant. Several prominent people throughout history have had their own say about marijuana and their experience.
It may never be proven if the great bard himself used the pipes found in his backyard, but Shakespeare definitely wrote about a “noted weed” in his Sonnet 76. In this poem, he expressed that it helped him “keep invention,” as he lamented his possible monotony.
Bob Marley famously smoked a lot of weed, declaring that “Herb is a plant. Herb is good for everything.” His mere influence probably convinced a lot of college dormers to embrace the plant as the hippie lifestyle reached the peak of its popularity in the 1970s.
Aside from being used as a recreational stimulant, hemp has also been used throughout the ages for its fibers. In fact, the word canvas comes from the Latin that means “made of hemp”. It should be of no surprise when future archaeologists find conclusive evidence that renowned artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and even Salvador Dali benefited from the wondrous herb. It is true that other forms of addicting stimulation were widely available during their own eras and they have acknowledged use of those, but it only adds to the argument that creative genius can be helped by intoxicating chemicals.
A short history of cannabis
Cannabis and its many derivatives have been employed all over the world for centuries. For the most part, it was considered legal and it was not until the 19th century that the political feelings for it started to change. Napoleon was said to exercise his own power over it. And notable American presidents themselves were known to be hemp farmers, while the US Declaration of Independence itself was written on hemp paper.
In the US, the criminalization of cannabis began with the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, a piece of legislation that many have seen to be politically motivated to repress immigrants. This was later overturned in 1969. But it took half a century for hemp to finally be legalized once more nationwide when President Trump signed the 2018 farm bill. With this recent law, industrial hemp is now allowed as long as it contains THC below a level of 0.3 percent. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the component of marijuana that gives people it’s psychedelic effect. Regardless of this low concentration deemed acceptable by the law, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention itself acknowledge the unlikeliness of anyone developing a “bad reaction” to marijuana. Still, the 2018 farm bill was a major win for the pot-loving community.
Even before 2018 though, many states have already shown lenience, indeed acceptance for marijuana, that such places like Ann Arbor in Michigan have not even prescribed jail time for possession since the 1970s. And with the 2018 farm bill, there surely won’t be any shortage of marijuana dispensary Ann Arbor customers anytime. In fact, more shops will only start to mushroom in the wake of the updated national legislation.
Cannabis in the 21st Century
With the laws relaxing in the free world towards this natural stimulant, the number of marijuana users might surprisingly even go down. After all, human nature has always been more inclined to those that are forbidden. In fact in Colorado, a slight decrease in use among the youth was recorded only a few years after Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in the state.
Studies have been conducted to test the perceived medical benefits of cannabis. And to some extent, marijuana has proven to alleviate symptoms even among those who are terminally ill. Anxiety and depression, which many have long understood to be relieved by marijuana, are just some of the more usual conditions suffered by many artists. You can blame some of their use on this herb to its medical value than for their desire for a temporary abundance of creativity.
In a radio interview, Lady Gaga, a popular artist of the 21st century intimated that she has been “addicted to various things” since her youth. “But the truth is that it is very hard to be famous.” Acknowledging the link between drug stimulation, fame, and artistry, she said, “I do put that pressure on myself; I have to be high to be creative.” But she concluded inspiringly by saying, “Can I be brilliant without it? I know I can be…”
If history is the only evidence, we can predict that people are just going to continue enjoying the many benefits of cannabis in the years to come. But we are still a bit early into this century to observe just how much marijuana will influence this generation’s culture and art. What we know for sure is that more tests will be performed on this plant that can thrive almost anywhere. Marijuana is here to stay in the 21st century and beyond.