Who was Louis Armstrong?
Louis Armstrong was indeed a talented artist. Known for his unique style of playing, Armstrong gained a lot of popularity in the 1930’s and 40’s. He did not have an easy childhood. He grew up in an area called “the Battlefield’. As for his parents, his father abandoned him and his mother had to resort to prostitution to provide for the family. As a teenager, he was considered a delinquent. Eventually, he would meet some life changing people that would introduce him to the world of jazz. As the story unfolds, this would eventually consume his identity. As his fame grew, he became one of the first celebrities to make it known that he used marijuana. As a result of this, marijuana had great impacts on Armstrong’s career and the way in which society viewed weed.
Armstrong and Marijuana Use
Armstrong would use marijuana frequently. He used it before performances and recording sessions. He viewed marijuana as a soothing substance that could be used to aid in relaxation and the quieting of the mind. In 1930, Armstrong and one of his fellow band members were arrested for smoking in public. They were caught smoking because another rising musician told the police of Armstrong’s marijuana use. At the time, marijuana, was frowned upon throughout society and this arrest could have ended his career. Fortunately, the this event did not receive a lot of publicity.
What Impacts did This Have?
The use of marijuana throughout Armstrong’s career somewhat normalized the drug at a time when the thought of using it was criminalized. One would be under the assumption that his arrest would have brought negative attention to his career. Instead, he was able to forge a connection between himself and other people who used marijuana. Ultimately, this helped him to fortify relationships throughout his career and eliminate stigmas surrounding the drug.