George Michael in 2006: Marijuana 'Keeps Me Sane and Happy'

George Michael smokes a joint on a boat in this undated photo.

George Michael's career had cooled off quite a bit around the time he first ran into problem with the law over his marijuana use when he was busted for possession in London in 2006 after a traffic stop. Eight months later, Michael explained:

'If I'd drunk as much as I smoked, my God I'd look like Keith Richards. This stuff keeps me sane and happy… I'd say it's a great drug.'

In May 2007, the pop singer pleaded guilty to driving while unfit through (the use of) drugs. He lost his driver's license for two years and had to perform community service.

Michael was arrested two other times for drugs: in Sept. 2008 in a public toilet in London (for crack) and in July 2010 again while driving. The latter arrest resulted in the same unfit to drive charge as well as possession of cannabis. This time when he pleaded guilty Michael was sentenced to two months in jail, a fine and a five-year suspension of his license. He served four weeks of his sentence.

In June 2015, Michael checked into a Swiss rehab clinic. In interviews, he said that he'd smoked as many as 25 joints per day, used crack and abused prescription drugs.

Michael died of heart failure on Christmas Day at his home in Oxfordshire. It's unclear if drugs played a role in his death.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

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