Remembering Tom Petty, Rock Star and Cannabis Enthusiast

We’ve lost another rock star, and this one was known for his advocacy for cannabis. By now you’ve probably heard of the loss of the great Tom Petty earlier this week, and maybe you’re aware of his marijuana-friendly lyrics. Here’s a look at a few ways Mr. Petty celebrated our favorite plant during his life on earth.

  • Tom Petty was never shy about including references to marijuana in his songs. Here are few of our favorites.
    1. You Don’t Know How It Feels:” The chorus of the 1994 hit goes, “But let me get to the point, let’s roll another joint/ And turn the radio loud, I’m too alone to be proud/ You don’t know how it feels/ You don’t know how it feels to be me.” I think we’ve all been there, Mr. Petty.
    2. The reggae effort “Don’t Pull Me Over” is not as well-known as a lot of Petty songs, nonetheless, it’s his protest song in support of legalization. The lyrics of this one say, “Don’t pull me over let me pass on by/ Don’t pull me over/ Should be legalized/ Don’t pull me over mister policeman.” Not one of his best songs, but his heart was in the right place.
    3. And then of course there’s the classic “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” in which Petty croons “Last dance with Mary Jane/ One more time to kill the pain,” in a way that leaves little doubt what he’s talking about.

  • Petty never hid his enjoyment of cannabis and was frank with reporters who asked him about it.
    1. When a Rolling Stone reporter asked him in 2013 if the marijuana he used was medical, Petty answered, “I don’t have a prescription card, but I’m certain I’ve smoked some medical marijuana, yeah. It’s everywhere. I don’t smoke as much pot as I did at one point in my life. But I think the cat’s out of the bag, and it’s gonna be legalized. If you’re gonna sell liquor, you have to sell pot. Liquor’s worse for you. I don’t think pot’s addictive — I never felt like I had to have it, you know. Actually, no, I take that back [laughs]. But it is safer than alcohol.”
    2. A journalist who interviewed Petty for a 2014 issue of Men’s Journal wrote “He’s never been a big drinker (“I didn’t like the taste or the buzz, and I can’t stand being around drunks”) and he never really got into cocaine (“I mean, I went through the Eighties like everybody, but cocaine was never a good look”). “I’m mostly just a reefer guy,” he says. “It’s a musical drug.” He laughs at the idea of a prescription, though. “I’ve had a pipeline of marijuana since 1967.””

Rest in peace, Tom Petty.