News flash: Your favorite pop band from the ’60s was most likely high when you saw them in concert. A lot of people ask, “Were The Beatles on drugs?” and the answer is yes. In fact, they were heavily sedated for most of their music career. 

What was The Beatles’ drug of choice?

Most people know that The Beatles smoked a lot of marijuana. One interview with John Lennon revealed that the band “smoked weed for breakfast.” Meanwhile, Paul McCartney was arrested and deported for bringing ganja into Japan. 

However, weed wasn’t their only drug of choice. Sources report that Lennon, for example, got hooked on heroin by the late 1960s. As a result, the band broke up in 1970 under the combined strain of drug use and corporate interference. 

Aside from marijuana and heroin though, The Beatles also dabbled in hallucinogens like LSD and “shrooms.” In fact, they admittedly used them to help write catchy songs and trippy lyrics. So, while the band was considered a squeaky clean image of pop culture, there was a drug-fueled underbelly that was cleverly hidden from the public. 

See our post “Were the Beatles Hippies?”

Did The Beatles advocate for drugs? 

As the public fawned over The Beatles’ otherwise wholesome reputation, band members were openly advocating for marijuana law reform. Their efforts began in 1967 when John Lennon was asked to testify before the US Supreme Court on behalf of the Marijuana Defense Coalition. 

Interestingly, some people now speculate that Lennon was assassinated because of his weed activism. Meanwhile, Paul McCartney recently announced that he has stopped taking drugs, drinking, and smoking pot altogether. His reason: because he wants to be seen as a better role model for those who admire him. 

On the flip side, both Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, were so passionate about drug advocacy that they encountered the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover’s administration. Agents began taking note of Beatles’ lyrics and words spoken at public engagements. As a result, Lennon and Ono were called “public enemies” and “threats to national security” by the US government. 

FUN FACT: John Lennon is now celebrated for his work, having been named one of the greats by High Times Magazine in 2019.

Do The Beatles take drugs today? 

Paul McCartney isn’t the only one who eventually shied away from drug and alcohol use. After years of abusing cocaine and LSD, he has finally decided to get clean and advocate against it. In fact, much of his work flies in the face of what his bandmate, John Lennon, once stood for. 

At the same time, Ringo Starr used to suffer from alcoholism before hitting what he called “rock bottom” in 1970. He reportedly drank 16 bottles of wine a day and topped it off with some cocaine. Since his terrible experiences in the ’70s, he has worked to hard stay clean and educate people on the dangers of consuming alcohol. 

The verdict 

Yes, The Beatles were on drugs. But, the ones who are still living have tried to undo their mistakes by sharing experiences and knowledge with the public.