We can’t prove that The Bard was a member of the group of authors who smoked weed. However, we do know that in 2001, a group of scientists unearthed several pipes dating back to the time of Shakespeare in Shakespeare’s garden. And eight of the pipe fragments contained cannabis!
Experts are looking to Shakespeare’s sonnets, specifically Sonnet 76, for clues about the famous poet’s drug use. In it, Shakespeare writes, “Why is my verse so barren of new pride […] / Why with the time do I not glance aside / To new-found methods and to compounds strange?”
Though this sonnet might suggest that Shakespeare shied away from drug use, how would he know if he hadn’t tried it? Later on, in the same sonnet, Shakespeare writes, “And keep invention in a noted weed.”
Could he be referring to weed as we know it? Is “compounds strange” a reference to cocaine—the pipes also had traces of it–rather than all-natural herb? We may never know.