Cannabis Aided Sinéad O'Connor During Her Difficult Life

Sinéad O’Connor with spliff in 1993 (photo by BP Fallon/Flickr)

Sinéad O'Connor used to duck into her backyard to have a toke of weed.

"The kids don't know I smoke dope," she told the Irish Examiner in 2012 about her four children. "I just sneak down to the garden... and don't get arrested."

O'Connor's relationship with marijuana dated back to 1976 when she was a teenager.

"I smoke dope quite a bit and that really does help," she was quoted as saying in Icons of Rock, "when I'm actually writing because it opens your mind up... If you smoke a joint you're much clearer, you realize what your thoughts are, but you've got to write it down reeally quickly before it all goes through your head."

However, she refrained from performing under the influence of cannabis, noting: "It sort of fucks you up."  

In 2011, O'Connor married her drug counselor in Las Vegas. On the wedding night, they went looking for marijuana but ended up with crack instead. The marriage lasted all of 16 days. 

In 2016, she checked into a rehab facility in San Francisco for pot. Following the stint, O'Connor posted at Facebook

"I was in rehab by the way. For thirty years of being a weed head. Can proudly state I now have clean piss and will be in a 'sober living environment' for the next year."

In 2020, she took another rehab break. In a tweet, the singer said she'd been "addicted to weed for 34 years" and that she became "briefly addicted to a drug other than weed," most likely crack.

Sinéad: "I smoke dope quite a bit and that really does help."

O'Connor wanted to deal with addiction, trauma and abuse. Sinéad's mother was an alcoholic who physically and sexually abused her. “I went straight into the music business," O'Connor explained, "and never learned really how to make a normal life.”

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Nothing compared to O'Connor's controversial career in music. She had a huge hit with the Prince song in 1990 and then started to express her true feelings which included disdain for the Catholic Church and resulted in her ripping up a photo of Pope John Paul on Saturday Night Live in 1992. She was widely reviled for the stunt and booed heartily at the Bob Dylan tribute concert two weeks later at Madison Square Garden, where Kris Kristofferson rescued her on stage as she was being mercilessly heckled by the angry New York crowd.

O'Connor attempted suicide at least once and had suicidal thioughts in 2017. Then her son Shane committed suicide in 2022. She was hospitalized a week later after tweeting:

“I’ve decided to follow my son. There is no point living without him. Everything I touch, I ruin. I only stayed for him. And now he’s gone."

O'Connor passed away on July 27 at 56 years of age. The cause of death has yet to be revealed.


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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.