Paul McCartney

Pual McCartney
Psychedelic vision of Paul McCartney - one the two remaining living Beatles

Paul McCartney is the Beatle most associated with marijuana. He's been arrested four times for pot and spent 10 days in a Japanese jail in 1980 for possessing a half-pound.

McCartney was born on June 18, 1942 in Liverpool, England. He met John Lennon in 1957. They formed the Beatles three years later.

The Beatles had phenomenal success in the '60s. They released 13 albums from 1963-1970. All went to No. 1 or No. 2. In addition, the Fab Four had 19 No. 1 singles in th U.S.

"Got to Get You Into My Life" (listen below), McCartney has said, is about marijuana. 

The Beatles broke up in 1970. This ushered in McCartney's solo career in the '70s with his band Wings. He's charted another seven No. 1 albums since then, including McCartney and Band on the Run. "Let Me Roll It" (watch below) from the latter 1974 album is considered another of McCartney's odes to cannabis.

McCartney has smoked pot off and on throughout his life. While married to Linda Eastman, it was a constant. But during later marriages to Heather Mills and his current wife Nancy Shevell, he's down-played his use. 

In an interview for High Times in 1990, McCartney said this to me about marijuana:

"I favor the decriminalzation of it. I think you've got too many people who get into it innocently and become criminals. The minute you're caught and the minute you're in the slammer you learn worse tricks. It's a very difficult issue. What happens is the argument comes up:

"People will say Scotch and stuff is legal and pot isn't. I think at that point there probably is a good argument for decriminalization."

He famously smoked joints with Bob Dylan and the rest of the Beatles for the first time at the Delmonico Hotel in New York in 1964. Drummer Ringo Starr was first to try it. 

In 2021, McCartney recalled: "We said, ‘Oh, what’s it like?’ and he said, ‘Well, the ceiling is kind of moving; it’s sort of coming down.’ And that was enough. After Ringo said that, the other three of us all leapt into the back room where Dylan was, and he gave us a puff on the joint.

“Suddenly it was working. And we were giggling, laughing at each other. I remember George trying to get away, and I was sort of running after him. It was hilarious, like a cartoon chase. We thought, ‘Wow, this is pretty amazing, this stuff.’ And so it became part of our repertoire from then on.”


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.