Press Release

‘Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Consumers’ Named by Nation’s Largest Marijuana Policy Organization

Aug 26, 2015

President Obama tops the list, followed by several 2016 presidential candidates — at least eight (and as many as 17) of the 23 major-party presidential hopefuls have consumed marijuana


WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, the nation’s largest marijuana policy organization, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), released its annual list of the “Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Consumers” in the United States.

The list is available below and at

“About one out of every two Americans has used marijuana, including a whole lot of very successful people,” said Mason Tvert, MPP’s director of communications. “There are a lot more out there that we don’t know about because it is illegal. Marijuana is a less harmful substance than alcohol. Adults who use it responsibly should not have to choose between keeping it a secret or admitting to a crime.”

President Barack Obama is at the top of MPP’s list, followed by several 2016 presidential candidates. At least eight (and as many as 17) of the 23 major-party presidential hopefuls have said or strongly indicated that they have consumed marijuana: Jeb Bush, Lincoln Chafee, Ted Cruz, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, and Rick Santorum. Nine others do not appear to have said whether they have consumed marijuana, and they did not respond to inquiries from MPP: Joe Biden, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich, Bobby Jindal, Martin O’Malley, and Jim Webb. Only six candidates have said they never used marijuana: Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Donald Trump, and Scott Walker.

“In addition to potentially becoming our next president, these marijuana consumers are playing a major role in the national political dialogue,” Tvert said. “Win or lose, they are guiding the debate and influencing the positions of others both within and outside of their parties.

“Of the nearly two dozen major-party candidates running for president, fewer than one-third are willing and able to admit they never used marijuana,” Tvert said. “And one of them is married to the fourth most influential marijuana consumer in America. Times have changed, and so have public attitudes toward marijuana.”

The list is intended to identify individuals who have used marijuana and achieved high levels of success or influence. It was created using the same criteria employed by Out Magazine to produce its "Power 50” list of LGBT Americans, such as “power to influence cultural and social attitudes, political clout, individual wealth, and a person’s media profile.” To qualify for MPP’s list, individuals must (1) be alive, (2) be a U.S. citizen, and (3) have consumed marijuana at least once in their life according to either their own account or that of a legitimate source. They do not need to currently consume marijuana or support marijuana policy reform.

“We hope this list will make people question some of the anti-marijuana propaganda they’ve been hearing for so long,” Tvert said. “Millions of adults enjoy consuming marijuana for many of the same reasons that adults enjoy consuming alcohol. The only thing that makes marijuana consumers more likely to become ‘losers’ are the legal penalties they face just for using it.”

Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Consumers

1.        Barack Obama

2.        2016 Presidential Hopefuls

3.        Oprah Winfrey

4.        Bill Clinton

5.        John Kerry

6.        Stephen Colbert

7.        Clarence Thomas

8.        Katy Perry

9.        LeBron James

10.     Jay Z

11.     Bill Gates

12.     George Soros

13.     Jon Stewart

14.     Bill Maher

15.     Rush Limbaugh

16.     Andrew Cuomo

17.     Sanjay Gupta

18.     George W. Bush

19.     Seth MacFarlane

20.     George Clooney

21.     Lady Gaga

22.     Ted Turner

23.     Brad Pitt

24.     Rihanna

25.     Whoopi Goldberg

26.     Morgan Freeman

27.     Angelina Jolie

28.     Conan O'Brien

29.     Martha Stewart

30.     Gov. John Hickenlooper (CO)

31.     Gov. Charlie Baker (MA)

32.     Tom Brokaw

33.     Michael Bloomberg

34.     Justin Timberlake

35.     Aaron Sorkin

36.     Glenn Beck

37.     Al Gore

38.     Matt Damon

39.     Susan Sarandon

40.     Madonna

41.     Robert Downey, Jr.

42.     Phil Jackson

43.     Rick Steves

44.     Jennifer Lawrence

45.     Miley Cyrus

46.     Jennifer Aniston

47.     Matthew McConaughey

48.     Snoop Dogg

49.     Hugh Hefner

50.     Maureen Dowd


Founded in 1995, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is the nation’s leading cannabis policy reform organization. MPP has played a central role in passing dozens of cannabis policy reforms in states across the country, including 10 successful cannabis legalization campaigns, and also works to advance federal reforms.

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