The Pope Smokes Dope

The Pope Smokes Dope
Cannabis Records and Covers

Exhibition: 3 June – 3 September 2017
Open daily, 10:00 am – 10:00 pm, free admission with a ticket to the museum


It’s an assistant, a friend,” said Louis Armstrong in 1959 about his beloved gage - slang for marihuana.

This famous trumpet player was not the only musician who felt this way. Musicians from many different genres, from jazz to folk, from reggae to rock, and from house to hip hop, saw - and see - cannabis as a source of inspiration, as well as a way to escape the hectic life of the music scene. The love shown for marihuana in modern music is what the The Pope Smokes Dope exhibition is all about. Cannabis Records and Covers. As from the first day of the 2017 Red Light Jazz Festival, the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum will be presenting a selection of LPs with a cannabis connection.

Everybody’s Smoking Marijuana
The 1972 album “The Pope Smokes Dope” by New York folk rocker David Peel and his band The Lower East Side was a political protest against the cannabis prohibition. This LP, called “the finest piece of musical agitprop ever to emerge from the '60s counterculture” by, consists of 12 tracks, including the catchy “Everybody’s Smoking Marijuana”. The album’s controversial title was banned almost everywhere in the world and the record was only released in the US, Canada and Japan. “The Pope Smokes Dope” and other controversial album covers are on display for a limited time at the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum.

Purple Haze
Also on display is, among others, Long John Silver (1972) by the American rock band Jefferson Airplane. The sleeve is a replica of a cigar box with a photo of blunts (cigars containing cannabis) at the bottom. And, of course, there is reggae: Peter Tosh’s debut album “Legalize It” is a powerful plea for the legalization of cannabis, particularly for medicinal use. “Purple Haze” (2002) by the English house duo Groove Armada features an Andy Warhol-esque depiction of a fat, purple joint. Its title refers to a purply type of cannabis known for its unprecedented potency and which, in turn, is named for Jimi Hendrix’ famous song from 1967.

Purple Haze, all in my brain
Lately things don’t seem the same
Acting funny, but I don’t know why
‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky

Jimi Hendrix, 1967

Opening on the occasion of the 2017 Red Light Jazz Festival
2 June 2017 4:00-6:00 pm

​Location: Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum, Oudezijds Achterburgwal 130, Amsterdam

Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum
The collection of the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum Collection consists of more than 12,000 objects that stand witness to the past, present and future of the cannabis plant. The museum has two locations: a canal house in downtown Amsterdam and a Modernista palace in Barcelona. Previously, the “The Pope Smokes Dope” exhibition was on display in Barcelona, where the “Cannabis Cuisine” exhibition, which examines the importance of hemp as a source of nutrition, is currently on display (from 20 April - 30 September 2017).

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