Written by Devin McGinley
According to some prominent pot lobbyists, five from New Jersey have a lot of influence—even if they haven’t always been "above the influence."
The Marijuana Policy Project, a group pushing Congress for the legalization of pot, rounded up 50 Americans in what the organization called an effort “to identify people who have used marijuana and achieved high levels of success or influence.”
The list included the sitting U.S. president as well as his two immediate predecessors, and three Garden State comedians who rolled into the top ten of the most influential marijuana users.
Satirical news anchors Stephen Colbert, a Montclair resident, and Jon Stewart, who grew up in the state, earned the fifth and sixth spot. Bill Maher, a Pascack Valley graduate and Montvale native who once said he’d “tried” marijuana “about 50,000 times,” came in at No. 10.
Less frequent user Susan Sarandon, an Edison native who’s admitted to toking back in the day, came in at No. 32.
And Jersey City-born Martha Stewart, also influential, MPP says, admits at least one of her many craft projects has been illicit. In one interview, she told Bravo: “Of course I know how to roll a joint.”
Another prominent New Jersey marijuana user didn’t make the list, though not for lack of trying.
Edward Forchion, who once tried to legally change his name to the cannabis-centric pseudonym "NJ Weedman", is an outspoken Burlington County Freeholder candidate representing the Marijuana Party platform. But his exertion of influence didn’t quite make the cut.
To make the list, "influential" people had to be U.S. residents or citizens, be currently alive, and have tried marijuana at least once.