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Spotlight on Black Cannabis Advocates in Music

This week in Black History Month, we're honoring Black cannabis advocates in music.

Louis Armstrong

1901 - 1971

The legendary jazz musician was a prominent advocate for the benefits of cannabis, as far back as the 1920s. In 1930, Armstrong was one of the first celebrities to be arrested for cannabis, outside a California club. Armstrong was once quoted, “We always looked at pot as a sort of medicine, a cheap drunk and with much better thoughts than one that’s full of liquor.”

Billie Holiday

1915 - 1959

Nicknamed "Lady Day", the American jazz & swing singer was an outspoken cannabis advocate. Billie Holiday was a high-profile target for the new "War on Drugs" and was repeatedly arrested. She ultimately suffered from liver disease and would often smoke cannabis for pain management.

Josephine Baker

1906 - 1975

Josephine Baker was an American-born French dancer, singer, actress - and cannabis advocate. Baker was outspoken about many political issues and became a spy for the French Resistance. Her son's book, “Josephine: The Hungry Heart” states Baker invited folks to smoke weed with her before performing.

Entrepreneurs Whitney Beatty & Ebony Andersen created a cannabis speakeasy in Los Angeles, in honor of Billie Holiday & Josephine Baker.

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