Maya Angelou

  • Feb 10, 2021

By Morgan Stabile, Sanctuary Brookline

Maya Angelou (1928-2014) was an American poet, memoirist, civil rights activist and cannabis enthusiast!?!?

That’s right! The famed author described her cannabis use and first experience in the memoir “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” (1969). When joining friends for dinner one night her hosts suggested they all share a joint before the meal.

“Before the cigarette was smoked down to roach length, I had to smother my giggles,” Angelou said. “The food was the best I’d ever tasted. Every morsel was an experience of sheer delight.” That dinner party joint may have been the first, but it certainly wasn’t the last.

Angelou continued to write about “Mary Jane, hash, grass, gauge, weed, pot” and that she “had absolutely no fear of using it.” in her second memoir “Gather Together in My Name” (1974). Like many artists, Angelou used flower to help fuel her creativity. “I learned new postures and developed new dreams. From a natural stiffness, I melted into a grinning tolerance…for the first time, life amused me.”

Learn more about Maya Angelou’s remarkable career, accolades and impact on the world here. Interested in learning more about her transformative cannabis experience? Check out the episode about the author on the canna-podcast Great Moments in Weed History.