Cannabis Icons
5 min

Top 5 Cannabis Icons: Noteworthy Tokers From The Past And Present

5 min

Zamnesia's list of the top 5 cannabis icons boasts some expected favourites and some surprising additions! See which picks made the cut, as well as some honourable mentions who almost made the list.

What makes a stoner icon? Does one simply have to be famous and smoke a lot of weed, or are there specific criteria? For the most part, true cannabis icons are those with a real dedication to cannabis culture and an understanding and love of the plant. The icons on our list are interdisciplinary creative artists with a wide range of talents, business ventures and philanthropy projects who always leave time for a good smoke session. Just by being who they are, they elevate themselves and the cannabis community to even higher ground.

Cannabis Icons: Top 5 Celebrity Stoners By Zamnesia

Even during its darkest, most secretive tenure, cannabis always found a friend in artists and creatives all around the world. Renowned first and foremost for their work as musicians, actors, writers and the like, these multi-influential icons are also the stoners we look up to.

Proven by their success in their respective industries, these individuals adopt the stoner moniker then turn it on its head to become something even greater. The following represent our top 5 cannabis icons - legends new and old from the world of arts and culture. So grab your stash and read on to learn about some of the most influential potheads of all time.


There is no question that Rihanna holds the torch in current pop culture for powerful, talented women who smoke cannabis without shame. Lauded for her increasingly complex chart-topping music (and general domination on every red carpet), musicians, high fashion designers and weed smokers all want a piece of Rihanna. Too bad for us, she’s not up for grabs, jet-setting from feature to feature and magazine shoot to magazine shoot around the globe. But don’t worry, according to Twitter and paparazzi, Rihanna always finds time to smoke a joint, blunt or whatever suits her at the moment.

Just try to find a picture of this R&B goddess smoking on the beach without purchasing a ticket for yourself to the nearest coastal region. After all, with such pressure to maintain her icon status, what better way to unwind from work than some potent herb? Although her open weed habits have landed her in some trouble, ie. getting banned from a hotel in her native Barbados after smoking heavily throughout her stay.

Now the creator behind her own fashion label, “Fenty,” Rihanna continues to share drool-worthy photos of herself rolling, smoking and enjoying all the cannabis she can get her hands on. With her progressive politics and extensive influence on youth culture, Rihanna is a cannabis icon worthy of idolatry.


There aren’t a lot of cannabis activists like Willie Nelson. The outlaw country music star has been a maverick from the beginning, crafting a standalone persona that transcends into his weed activism. As a co-chair on the non-profit organisation NORML’s (The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) advisory board, WIllie takes cannabis seriously and has even been arrested on his quest to normalise the substance.

Willie’s ascent to fame allowed him to cultivate a distinct sound that was equal parts country music and spoken word poetry. He incorporates his politics and activism into his music, singing on a wide range of issues. The artist is perhaps best known for the success of two of his early LPs “Shotgun Willie” (1973) and “Red Headed Stranger” (1977). Willie’s relaxed, behind the beat, contemplative style of songwriting has carried his legacy on through nearly seven decades.

Today, Willie owns Willie’s Reserve, a cannabis product line that sells everything from accessories and flower, to vape cartridges and edibles. How does Willie keep moving forward with such confidence at age 84? Apparently, he smokes weed every day and has short-term memory loss. His frank manner and genuine free spirit certify him as country music’s generous lone ranger. It also makes him a true role model for cannabis activists everywhere.


Cheech and Chong’s beginnings as cannabis icons is the stuff of legend. Meeting in Vancouver, BC on the Canadian west coast in the 1960s, the duo soon became friends and successful comedy partners. Recording a number of critically acclaimed and Grammy-award-winning comedy albums, the pair skyrocketed to fame with their debut film, 1978’s “Up in Smoke.” This low-budget stoner comedy would become one of the most notable cannabis-themed films of all time.

“Up in Smoke” may not have received the kind of critical acclaim that wins major movie awards, yet it was commercially successful enough to spawn several sequels and a lifetime of TV appearances and movie cameos for the two. Cheech and Chong’s experiences during the height of 1960’s-70’s counterculture made them some of the strongest comedic voices of their time. Both were orators for cannabis enthusiasts and other minorities since Cheech is Latin-American and Chong is Chinese-Canadian.

The pair’s headlines as weed icons haven’t always been positive - Chong was arrested in 2003 after being caught selling over 7,500 bongs online. Chong and his family were understandably upset by his conviction and fiercely contested the legality of the raid. After Cheech and Chong split over artistic differences in 1985 they finally reunited in 2008 for their Light Up America and Canada comedy tour.


Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa’s incomparable status as cannabis connoisseurs is perhaps best summed up by their collaborative track “Young, Wild and Free.” With a relaxed, carefree spirit and a hefty dose of indulgence, Snoop and Wiz are idols to cannabis entrepreneurs and laid back stoners everywhere.

Snoop Dogg has long been associated with weed from the inception of his career in the early 1990s. Hailed as one of the west coast’s most confident rap mavens of all time, Snoop has recently turned his attention toward partnering with a Canadian weed stock and developing his own cannabis product line. Snoop held an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit where he copped to smoking an improbable “81 blunts a day.” If that admission alone doesn’t cement him as Tha Doggfather of weed, I don’t know what does.

For newer generations, Wiz Khalifa is perhaps a more recognisable weed icon than Snoop. Whether this is justified is beside the point - Khalifa has practically built his career on the basis of being rap’s unabashed pothead. Luckily, Khalifa’s got the musical staying power to bulk up his career when he’s not developing groundbreaking mobile apps like 2017’s “Wiz Khalifa’s Weed Farm.” He’s partnered with RAW to launch his own line of accessories and like any true icon even developed a Wiz Khalifa Kush strain of smokable bud.


There is plenty of room on this list for new icons, but it would be thoughtless not to include cannabis’ singular cultural deity, Bob Marley. More than just a frequent smoker of “kaya”, Marley integrated the loving spirit of cannabis throughout his discography and into the world at large. Aside from naming an entire album after the dank stuff, Marley cited cannabis as encouraging his conversion from Catholicism to Rastafari in the 1960s. Having grown up in the Catholic church, Marley ultimately felt more in touch with the teachings of his converted ideology.

Starting out as a singer/multi-instrumentalist in Bob Marley and The Wailers, Marley eventually went solo and relocated to the UK to write and record two albums under his exclusive name. “Exodus” arrived in 1977 to rave critical and commercial reviews, enjoying a stay on the British album charts for a staggering 56 weeks in a row. The follow-up to “Exodus” is largely considered to be Marley’s most cannabis-forward LP, aptly named “Kaya.” Unlike some of his earlier collaborative work, Marley’s newer albums showed a more politically charged mentality and open support of cannabis.

Marley considered cannabis to have spiritual and religious applications. The stoner legend had long echoed the self-revelatory capabilities of cannabis, describing its ability to unveil one's inner demons in order to squash them.


Where would we be without the many other legendary cannabis icons who did not place on this list? Take for instance silver screen sensation Susan Sarandon. Sarandon has always been a cannabis consumer and activist, allegedly attending many Hollywood events high.

Then there’s buddy comedy actor and screenwriter Seth Rogen. Rogen frequently elevates the stoner comedy genre above its mediocre production quality with films like Superbad and Sausage Party.

Fiona Apple is another purveyor of high musical art. The singer-songwriter was once caught, then subsequently arrested for hash possession while on tour in Texas. Apple’s imaginative music is the perfect pairing to a creative and cathartic smoking session.

Patrick Stewart, known by many as Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek's "The Next Generation", is somewhat of a surprising addition, as the actor just admitted to smoking everyday! Stewart is an avid proponent of comprehensive cannabis legalisation and is another example of a class act connoisseur!

Bash and self-deprecating comedian Sarah Silverman often includes cannabis in her routines, describing herself as a die-hard stoner on many occasions.


All of the aforementioned celebs have played a part - in one way or the other - in the dismantling of the stigma that surrounds this beautiful herb. Fighting the good fight, and serving as an example of tolerance and responsible cannabis consumption, each deserves the title of true Stoner Icon. Hopefully one day, everybody will have the same relaxed and sympathetic approach towards Cannabis. For As the late, great Bob Marley once said: "Herb is the unification of mankind".

Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl has been writing about cannabis, the wellness potential of cannabinoids, and the positive influence of nature for over a decade. Working with several cannabinoid-centric publications, he publishes a variety of digital content, supported by strong technical knowledge and thorough research.
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