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To toke or not to toke? Why William Shakespeare might have been a pothead. Like, for real, brah.


Was Shakepeare really a stoner? Lately, the internet has been awash with news about a group of South African scientists whose findings suggest that the greatest writer who ever lived might have had a penchant for wacky tobacky.

Using a technique called gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS), the scientists analyzed fragments of 24 clay pipes recovered in Shakespeare’s home in Stratford-upon-Avon, England and the areas surrounding it. Eight of the pipes were found to have traces of cannabis, four of which were from the Bard’s property. The other pipes had traces of nicotine, hallucinogens, and cocaine from coca leaves which were brought to Europe from expeditions in Peru in the 1500s.

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While there’s no evidence that the pipes found on Shakespeare’s property belonged to him, we would’t be surprised if the playwright indulged in a smoke sesh or two while writing his masterpieces. After all, the use of narcotics was prevalent in Elizabethan England and other literary greats such as Coleridge and Byron were known to partake in a miscellany of substances.

Some people have pointed out Shakespeare’s Sonnet 76 which refers to “…compounds strange” and “…invention in a noted weed” and Sonnet 27 which talks about “…a journey in his head” as allusions to pot and it’s spacey effects, though we think this is stretching it a bit too far.


Whether or not William Shakespeare wrote his plays baked out of his mind while having a case of the munchies, it can’t be denied that the guy wrote some of the most tripped out works of literary genius the world has ever seen. A midsummer night’s dream, anyone?

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1 Comment

  • Miggy Z
    August 14, 2015

    This is Old News boy.

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