Does Cannabis Boost Creativity?
David Jay Brown
Santa Cruz Patch
For many years, numerous highly-acclaimed artists, scientists, writers, musicians, and creative people of all sorts have claimed that marijuana holds enormous potential to enhance creativity and inspire the imagination.
Now, new scientific studies are beginning to confirm these claims, and researchers are starting to understand the psychological mechanisms behind how cannabis can improve the creative process.
There’s a common myth, perpetuated by the mainstream media, that people often mistakenly think that they’re brilliant and creative while under the influence of cannabis, only to find that their creations are worthless, or that their insights are meaningless nonsense, upon returning to normal everyday consciousness.
Let’s dispel this pervasive myth about cannabis right now, by taking the many anecdotal reports to heart, and looking at what the scientific studies have to say.
From Charles Baudelaire to George Carlin, Shakespeare to Carl Sagan, Louis Armstrong to Paul McCartney, Norman Mailer to Jack Nicholson, the list of accomplished creative people who have claimed a positive influence from their use of cannabis is truly impressive.
I’ve personally spoken with many accomplished people who made claims about how essential cannabis was for their creative process. For example, when I interviewed the late comedian George Carlin, he told me:
“Pot…changed my thinking. It fostered offbeat thinking…Then it changed my comedy….I became more myself. The comedy became more personal, therefore more political, and therefore more successful…So, suddenly, I also became materially successful. People started buying albums. I had four Gold albums in a row.”