Richard Branson (b. July 18, 1950)
Reportedly worth £5 billion, Billionaire airline/music mogul Richard Branson says Rolling Stone Keith Richards was the "first person to teach me to roll a joint." He recounts trying pot and LSD in his book, Losing My Virginity, but says he's done drugs only "rarely." In one instance, he took a joint so as not to appear ungrateful to the host who proffered it, and found out the next day that Dire Straits signed with another label.
In 2001 Branson said that he would sell legalized cannabis in his Virgin stores but not tobacco because it is too dangerous. When asked about cannabis on a BBC2 interview he said: "I personally think it should be legalized. I think it’s wrong that 100,000 young people have criminal records every year for doing something which is no worse than their parents are doing every night—drinking alcohol."
Branson said in 2007 he smoked cannabis with his son Sam, a model, during a surfing holiday in Australia. "I went with my son on his gap year. We had some nights where we laughed our heads off for eight hours," Branson said, adding, "I don't think smoking the occasional spliff is all that wrong. I'd rather my son did it in front of me than behind closed doors."
Branson was among 100 prominent people who signed a public declaration in favor of the decriminalization of cannabis. They also included former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, Body Shop founder Anita Roddick, and playwright Harold Pinter. He's been more and more outspoken about his ideals, acting as a commissioner of the Global Commission on Drug Policy and telling the press he asked President Obama for a joint when he visited the White House in 2012.