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5. Margaret Mead. While it's unclear whether the legendary anthropologist was a regular user per se, she testified before Congress in 1969 that regular marijuana use was "not nearly as bad" as tobacco or alcohol. Discussing her study of pot's use in various societies, she said that people around the world "smoke to keep working and then they smoke to relax, and all of these things fall under this general question of whether that man has any right to use natural or distilled or pharmaceutically produced aids to permit him to live the kind of life that he wants to live, and in most cases we find this combines work and relaxation or religion, work and relaxation."
In the wake of her testimony, Mead was pilloried by many, including the increasingly reactionary Al Capp in his Li'l Abner comic strip as "the lady anthropologist" who "explained how harmless heroin is for children."
4. Michael Phelps. When the unparalleled swimming champion got caught smoking pot in 2009, two things were immediately clear. First, Phelps knew his way around a bong. Second, he was going to distance himself from his actions to preserve his prospects as a pitchman for various products and services.
"I've never made the same mistake twice," Phelps told Details in 2012 while discussing the flap concerning his pot use. You don't have to parse his language very much to realize he thinks the mistake was in getting photographed, not necessarily in using pot.
America’s war on drugs is propaganda... I can’t tell you how much bullshit I’ve been through because I will openly say that I smoke weed. People look at it like it’s this crazy, hippy, fucked-up thing to do. And it’s not! I hope they legalize it and when they do I’ll be the first fucking person in line to buy my pack of joints.
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