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The history of Cannabis is as long as that of man. Since ancient times, we have testimonies of its presence and usage, often denoted by famous and influential men - some of whom have struggled to ensure that it was legal and used for therapeutic purposes.


Barack Obama - The first African-American president in the history of the USA, and arguably one of the most influential men in the world, is said to have been “known for a tendency to smoke some reefer” by David Maraniss in his biography 'Barack Obama: The Story'. In 'Dreams of My Father', the biography written in 2004, Obama also discusses his experiences with marijuana in greater detail.

Usain Bolt - An icon of sport, the Olympic champion confessed to having tried marijuana as a young boy in Jamaica: “Everyone tried marijuana, including me, but I was really young. People can say what they want; I know I'm clean.”

Morgan Freeman – Uses marijuana regularly to treat pain: “My first wife introduced me to marijuana many years ago. How to take it? Whichever way: I eat, I drink, I smoke, I sniff." He also says in an interview with the Daily Beast: "Marijuana has many uses - I have pain in my arm and the only thing that is able to give me relief is cannabis”.

George Washington - George Washington, the first president of the USA, grew hemp in his estate in Mount Vernon. In 1840 Cannabis also began to be used for therapy. In 1765, Washington wrote in his diary: "Sown Hemp from Muddy Hole Swamp" to which would be added the following sentence: "We started to separate the male from the female hemp ... a bit too late'. There is currently no evidence that witnesses in the West before 1800 were using marijuana for recreational use.

William Shakespeare - William Shakespeare is one of the most important writers of all time. From an excavation made in his garden, evidence emerged about the possibility that he used marijuana.The news was launched by The Independent, who quoted a scientific study that sparked further public debate. The announcement that Shakespeare created his most important works under the influence of marijuana provides interesting news for aspiring writers!

Queen Victoria of England - was the monarch who led England towards the Industrial Revolution. History has it that the royal physician in her service had to prescribe marijuana to fight very painful menstrual cramps. A tonic, made of cannabis, very widespread at that time, was hired by Queen Victoria to fight her pains.

Marco Pannella - Marco Pannella was a radical political Italian who for years fought for the legalisation of marijuana. Pannella has starred in episodes that have made history in Italy, such as when he showed up on Domenica In (Italian talk show) in a hash table or when he distributed marijuana tops in the Italian square. In the next few months, the Italian Parliament will discuss a proposal for legalising marijuana.

Bill Gates - The creator of Microsoft, and arguably one of the most powerful and influential men in the world, has always spoken in a manner favourable to the legalisation of marijuana. "Marijuana has always been an alternative drug" says Gates, who adds that Microsoft is contributing to a project to develop software which provides a legal distribution.