This article was originally published on Weedmaps, and appears here with permission.
The magic of Carlos Santana transcends his status as one of the most legendary rock stars of all time. From shredding at Woodstock to winning ten Grammy awards with his pioneering blend of latin-influenced rock, all the while advocating for cannabis use and launching his own weed brand, the man behind the myth has always existed on a higher plane.
Named in Rolling Stone's “100 Greatest Guitarists” — coming in at number 20 — Santana shot to stardom from the creative nebula that was San Francisco's Haight Ashbury in the late sixties. One of the many iconoclastic rock stars that rose from the hotbed at that time, Santana aligned with bands like The Grateful Dead and The Jefferson Airplane. After playing one the sickest sets at Woodstock, which included an 11-minute instrumental version of “Soul Sacrifice,” the largely unknown artist found his fanbase, and the rest is history.
Known for pausing concerts to speak on the “spiritual use of cannabis” between songs, Santana views weed as less of the product-based commodity market it is becoming, and more as the medicine it's always been. As a young child growing up in Tijuana, his first experiences with cannabis were in his mother's garden.
Santana's cannabis history
“When I was a child my mom used to have this plant for medicine,” Santana told Weedmaps. “She would put it in alcohol and let it sit there. Then, you were able to take care of your knees for rheumatism or arthritis, any number of things.”
He continued, “She was really proud of being a gardener and cooking. It was my mom's fascination besides the family, the flowers that she had. She had beautiful roses and she noticed that the ants would come to get them because the roses were so beautiful and delicious and sweet. So she got the marijuana tincture and put it around the roses and the ants would get so high, they would forget what they were doing and turn …