It’s easy to forget successful CEOs are people just like us. They lead the largest corporations in the world, put their socks on the same way each day, and also enjoy the sticky icky.
While marijuana use has traditionally been frowned upon, today, more and more professionals are becoming open about their pot habits.
The stigma surrounding marijuana use is completely unjustified. People tend to look down on cannabis users as lazy, unprofessional, or unmotivated.
It’s a mindset that’s so pervasive that even the most seemingly harmless habits can be exaggerated into a caricature of how people think you should act and look.
In a lot of states, you can’t even get a job if you’re a regular weed smoker and risk losing yours if your boss finds out you do. Luckily, times are changing and nowadays many prominent figures have shown their fondness for weed, proving that you can still be successful and make millions while enjoying a joint.
Here are some of the most notable CEOs who have admitted to smoking weed:
Photo courtesy of Richard Branson
The Virgin Group CEO claims that he learned to roll joints from Rolling Stone Keith Richards. In a 2007 interview, Branson told Piers Morgan that he smokes marijuana with his son and his father.
Recently, Branson leaked a UN document that called for the decriminalization of personal drug possession. Branson released the document ahead of the planned release date to ensure that the UN moved forward.
Photo by Ben Stanfield / Flickr
On the subject of substance abuse, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was rather open. Before his death, he said that LSD was one of the most important things he had ever done. He had also revealed that he would smoke marijuana with friends, or bake up some brownies — though he hadn’t gotten high since the late ’70s.
Photo by haber timi / Flickr
Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates voted in support of marijuana legalization in Washington State in 2012. Though he has not admitted outright (he has only suggested) that he smoked marijuana, he is listed on the Marijuana Policy Project’s list of “influential marijuana users”.
Photo credit Jim Gillooly / PEI
Former New York City mayor, Bloomberg media company owner, and CEO Michael Bloomberg enjoyed the herb. In fact, in a 2001 interview he was asked if he smoked weed his response, “ you bet I did, and I enjoyed it”. Bloomberg later expressed regret for his comment because… politics.
Photo by Gage Skidmore / Flickr
Dallas Mavericks owner and AXS TV CEO Mark Cuban is an admitted marijuana user. Though he says he hasn’t smoked in a long time, claiming that even when he did smoke ecstasy was his go-to drug. Cuban has been outspoken about marijuana legalization. He has called for the release of prisoners convicted on marijuana charges.
Photo by Kevin Mazur / Getty Images
Jay-Z is one of the most successful men in the world. The ways he uses his talent, money, and resources to help others are just as impressive. One of the most notable ways this manifests itself is in his love for cannabis, especially on tour. Jay-Z has always been open about his love of weed, he even has his own brand – Monogram!
Photo credit: Getty Images
Oprah is the CEO of HARPO productions and also CEO of The Oprah Winfrey Network. In 2013 Oprah said the last time she smoked marijuana was in 1982. She never said how many times before that. Oprah has not taken a stance on marijuana legalization.
Photo credit: Getty Images
The founder and former CEO of Men’s Warehouse is an advocate for marijuana legalization and a regular user of herb. Zimmer recently gave a keynote speech to the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo in Los Angeles. He supports the 2016 California ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana.
Photo credit: Cleveland Media
The late CEO of Progressive insurance spoke about smoking medical marijuana to help him cope with the pain of a 1998 leg amputation. According to the Los Angeles Times, Lewis donated over $1.7 to support decriminalization in California from 1996 to 2010.
Johnson is the CEO of Descartes Labs a tech company based in Los Alamos. Before his time at Descartes Labs, he was CEO of Zite a tech company in Silicon Valley. Johnson admits that during his time at Zite, he smoked marijuana all the time. He also suggested that many of the employees at Zite did as well as a majority of people employed in Silicon Valley.
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