Weed, pot, grass, chronic - whatever name you want to give it, there’s no denying the long history between marijuana and music.

The narcotic has reportedly inspired many artists to pen some of their most imaginative works. While the drug is arguably most linked with the counterculture of the ‘60s and the music created in that era, it’s clear that every generation of musicians has had some interaction with Mary Jane.

We’ve already rounded up some of our favorite songs about pot, so for the purposes of the below list we’re looking at stories involving musicians and their history with the drug. Whether it was a run-in with the law, humorous high encounter or just a good old-fashioned wake-and-bake, these are some of our favorite anecdotes involving rock stars and marijuana.

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Bob Dylan Turns the Beatles On
While staying at New York's Delmonico Hotel on Aug. 28, 1964, the Beatles received a visit from Bob Dylan, who brought along his stash. He was surprised to learn that they were neophytes - they'd tried it a few years earlier but didn't take to it - because he thought they were singing "I get high" instead of "I can't hide" in "I Want to Hold Your Hand." After sparking up, Paul McCartney, believing he was "thinking for the first time," recalled asking roadie Mal Evans to follow him around with a pencil and paper and write down what he said, only to wake up the next morning and read the words "There are seven levels." John Lennon was much more matter-of-fact about it. "I don't remember much what we talked about," he said. "We were smoking dope, drinking wine and generally being rock 'n' rollers and having a laugh, you know, and surrealism. It was party time." How much did that night affect the Beatles? By the time they began shooting their second film, Help!, in February 1965, Lennon retrospectively claimed that "we were smoking marijuana for breakfast during that period. Nobody could communicate with us, it was all glazed eyes and giggling all the time. In our own world. It's like doing nothing most of the time, but still having to rise at 7AM, so we became bored."
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The Only Time Gene Simmons Got High
While most of the rock stars on this list have been repeat cannabis offenders - or at least repeat cannabis users - Gene Simmons insists he’s gotten stoned only once in his life. The story of that fateful day is a good one. The Kiss rocker devoured three brownies, only to realize they had been laced with hash. Simmons reportedly began asking lots of questions as the brownies began to take effect: “Are my feet as big as I think they are? Does my head look funny? Is it really small? Why are my hands so big? Are my teeth shiny?” Journalist Jaan Uhelszki, who was with Simmons at the time, said watching him was “like being with E.T. tentatively discovering the wonders of planet Earth, complete with long fingers outstretched to touch ordinary objects.”
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Rochester Police Dept.

David Bowie and Iggy Pop Get Busted in New York
Things were going well for David Bowie and Iggy Pop in March 1976. The two had patched up their friendship - following years apart - and were touring the U.S. in support of Bowie’s Station to Station LP. Following a March 21 performance in Rochester, N.Y., Bowie, Pop and their associates were busted in their hotel suite by four vice-squad detectives and a state police investigator who confiscated “about half a pound of marijuana.” The group was reportedly facing “a minimum of 15 years’ imprisonment on the drug charge but could get as little as five years’ probation if convicted.” However, after appearing in court, the charges were dismissed on the most appropriate of days: April 20.
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Aerosmith Bail Out Their Fans
At an Aerosmith concert on Oct. 3, 1978, cops sought to harsh the crowd’s mellow by arresting a contingent of audience members. The majority were charged with smoking weed, though there were also some underage drinking charges thrown in for good measure. According to the Aerosmith biography Walk This Way, the band became aware of the arrests mid-show and began calling the cops "scumbags" and "gestapo" from the stage. Singer Steven Tyler then offered to pay bail for every person that went to jail. The proposal wasn’t just for show. In all, the band reportedly paid the bail for 28 of its busted fans.
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Allman Brothers Get Booked
In early March 1971, the Allman Brothers Band recorded their classic live LP At Fillmore East. A week later they’d be performing a series of concerts throughout the South. On March 22, the band and its crew walked into a Jackson, Ala., truck stop that just happened to have a police officer inside. It didn’t take long for the cop to apprehend the group of longhairs, who were found to have multiple narcotics on them. Yes, weed was present - along with heroin and PCP. The band members spent the night in jail and were eventually able to plea bargain their way out of most of the charges, paying only a series of fines.
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Paul McCartney Can't Escape the Pot Police
The rap sheet on Paul McCartney is littered with cannabis-related incidents. In March 1973, the former Beatle was busted for growing marijuana plants on his Scottish farm. At the time of his arrest, McCartney alleged that a fan had given him the seeds, and he didn't know what plant would grow. He eventually paid a $240 fine and accepted a conviction for "illegal cultivation.” In 1975, the rocker would again encounter police, this time running a red light in Los Angeles. When cops pulled the car over, they discovered that the vehicle - allegedly - was filled with marijuana smoke. Paul’s wife, Linda, took the fall, saying the pot was hers, and accepting the ensuing arrest and fine. Still, arguably the most infamous of McCartney’s marijuana incidents took place in Tokyo, after customs officers discovered roughly a half pound of weed hidden in the musician’s luggage in early 1980. Though the former Beatle has often argued for the legalization of cannabis, he also claims to have given the drug up. “Instead of smoking a spliff, I’ll now have a glass of red wine or a nice margarita," he said in 2015. "The last time I smoked was a long time ago.”

 

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John Lennon and George Harrison Battle Nixon Over Pot
Sir Paul wasn’t the only Beatle to run into trouble due to marijuana use. John Lennon was famously forced into near-deportation from the U.S. by the Nixon administration, which used the rocker’s 1968 conviction of possession as its excuse. In a similar battle, George Harrison was denied a U.S. visa extension due to his marijuana conviction in England. The decision caused the normally quiet Beatle to pen a strongly worded telegram to President Nixon, saying in part, “Sir, how can you bomb Cambonian [sic] citizens and worry about kicking me out of the country for smoking marijuana at the [same] time.”

 

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Glenn Frey's Weed Smoking Angers Eagles Producer
The Eagles' Glenn Frey was a longtime user and proponent of cannabis. The singer once admitted he spent his college years doing three things: “[I] went to the parking lot and got high, went to the lunchroom and looked at girls and went to folk-club meetings.” While the drug helped the rocker “Take It Easy” throughout his life, his consumption didn’t always sit well with collaborators. Chief among them Glyn Johns, the record producer behind some of the Eagles' biggest albums. One of Johns’ strict studio rules was the banning of all drugs - not that Frey or bandmate Randy Meisner paid attention. “It really irritated him that Randy and I would sneak off and smoke weed,” Frey admitted in a 1975 interview with Rolling Stone. “He’d tell me, ‘You smoke grass and then you don’t say what’s on your mind when it comes to mind. Now it’s a week later and you’re talking about something that you should have ironed out seven days ago. And that’s juvenile.' What can you say? You’re busted.”

 

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A $5 Bag Gets Diamond Dave Arrested
On April 16, 1993, Van Halen singer David Lee Roth was busted for attempting to buy drugs in New York City’s Washington Square Park. Less surprising than the arrest were the details surrounding it. According to the police report, Diamond Dave was trying to buy only a measly $5 bag of marijuana. Given the low severity of the offense, charges were quickly dismissed. The rocker even joked about the situation during an interview with Howard Stern, likening the would-be purchase to "buying a pretzel or soda on a Sunday afternoon."
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Robert Plant Gives Colbert a Joint
Rock icon Robert Plant was in a playful mood the night he was a guest on the Colbert Report. The former Led Zeppelin singer started his 2014 appearance by running around the stage, before sitting down with host Stephen Colbert for a chat. During their conversation, Plant discussed his musical journey: “My quest is a long one and it has no end. It’s a wonderful thing to do and it’s surrounded by great people. And I brought you a little present from our stock room." He then handed Colbert a long joint. “I think it’s one of the accessories of not quite being a knight in the British Empire, but on the way,” the musician joked. “What is that? … Let’s find out what this is later, shall we?” the surprised host responded. “And for the purposes of my lawyer and the network, this is a cigarette.” Colbert then placed the joint in his pocket and continued with the interview.
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Roger Daltrey Can't Go Near the Stuff
As much as toking up and arena shows by classic-rock bands go hand-in-hand, keep it in your pocket if you're anywhere near the stage at a Who concert. Singer Roger Daltrey is allergic, and it negatively impacts his singing voice. In May 2015, he threatened to walk offstage if a fan didn't stop; four years later, when another fan blazed one, Daltrey was much more blunt. "All the ones smoking grass down in the front there ... you fucked my night and you made me really … . I’m allergic to that shit and my voice just goes ... it sucks up. So, fuck you!” Daltrey was a bit more polite when speaking to the press about it a few days later. "All I ask for is a little respect for someone doing their best to deliver a good night out for everyone," he said. "I have a sensitive issue on my vocal cords, and the smoke has the effect of shutting down my voice making singing really hard work."
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More Than 500 Weed-Loving Pink Floyd Fans Arrested
During the ‘60s and ‘70s, Los Angeles Police Chief Edward M. Davis was known for his aggressive, zero-tolerance perspective. The official hated the counterculture movement and everything that came with it, including rock music. So, when Pink Floyd announced a residency at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in 1975, Davis saw an opportunity to send a public message about drug use at concerts. Over the course of five nights, officers arrested more than 500 concertgoers, the majority of which were cited for “simple possession” of marijuana.
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David Crosby, the Joint Judge
Some classic rockers embrace technology, while others shun it. In the case of David Crosby, social media has provided an outlet for his joint-rolling critiques. The singer-songwriter - known for his stints with the Byrds and Crosby, Stills Nash & Young - has been using Twitter to rate, and in many cases make fun of, the marijuana handiwork of his fans. Followers send Crosby pictures of their joints, and the artist responds with his rating. Some of his sample assessments include calling joints “crumpled and puny,” “like a sub that went on the rocks” and resembling “a snake who swallowed a bowling ball.”
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Lynyrd Skynyrd Smoke With Snoop
Marijuana has the ability to bring people together, and perhaps there’s been no more unlikely smoking buddies than Lynyrd Skynyrd and Snoop Dogg. The Southern rock band and beloved rapper got together and blazed at a 2019 convention in San Jose, Calif. (where, it should be noted, pot is legal). Both parties posted images from the chronic connection to Instagram. In one video, Skynyrd guitarist Rickey Medlocke can also be overheard suggesting Snoop collaborate with the group.
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