History's Most Famous Female Cannabis Advocates

Queen Victoria used cannabis

Queen Victoria Treats her Menstrual Cramps

Ruling the British Empire from 1837-1901, Queen Victoria was England’s longest ruling monarch until Queen Elizabeth surpassed her record this past year.

It's been widely reported that Victoria’s team of physicians would prescribe her marijuana tinctures for menstrual pains. Her chief personal physician Sir J. Russel Reynolds wrote in a 1890 issue of The Lancet: "When pure and administered carefully, [cannabis] is one of the most valuable medicines we possess".

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc And her "Witch Herbs" 

Joan of Arc was a French medieval heroine who was accused of witchcraft and using “witch herbs” commonly thought to contain cannabis. 

maya angelou cannabis

Maya Angelou's Biography

Maya Angelou's biography Gather Together In my Name mentions that “Angelou settled into a job as a waitress and began smoking marijuana with abandon.” She describes her experiences like this: 

Walking the streets became high adventure, eating my mother’s huge dinners an opulent entertainment and playing iwth my son was side-cracking hilarity
— Maya Angelou, Gather Together In My Name
queen elizabeth 1 cannabis connection

Queen Elizabeth I of England Wants Hemp

In 1563 QE1 ordered every landowner with over 60 acres of land to grow marijuana in their gardens. This was building on a law from King Henry VIII's time meant to ensure production of hemp fibre for sail clothes and other goods but Queen Elizabeth 1 took it a step further and introduced a £5 fine for any landowner who did not comply.

louisa may alcott

Louisa May Alcott's Sex, Love and Cannabis

Louisa May Alcott may never have admitted publicly that she used marijuana, but readers of her short stories think she probably did. In a story called story called "Perilous Play," about two lovers getting engaged on a boat, it appears that they get high first. One character explains the effects like this: “A heavenly dreaminess comes over one, in which they move as if on air." 

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