Misty Mountain Hop: Led Zeppelin's contribution to pot legalization
2016 Cannabis Culture Rally in Toronto by Mark Blinch
Misty Mountain Hop is an iconic 1971 Led Zeppelin song the title of which is associated with the mountains described by J. R. R. Tolkien in The Hobbit. Such parallels are by no means accidental as the band has repeatedly featured the characters and locations of the fabulous world of Middle-Earth in their other songs such as Ramble On and The Battle of Evermore.
Apart from the title itself, there is only one mention of Tolkien's fictional universe in the lyrics—packing my bags for the Misty Mountains—which many interpreted as a reference to the real mountains in North Wales.
Whether it is a reference to Tolkien's world or not, the Misty Mountain Hop has become notorious for its subtext in connection to the movement to legalize cannabis that gained strength in the late 1960s on both sides of the Atlantic. Robert Plant once explained that the song is "about a bunch of hippies getting busted" during the 1968 Legalize Pot Rally in Hyde Park where the police made arrests for marijuana possession; at some concerts, he introduced the song as being about "being caught in the park with wrong stuff in your cigarette papers".
Listen to Misty Mountain Hop by Led Zeppelin:
It is a glaring fact that the rally for legalization, which has been going on for more than half a century, is still in motion, given that select laws aimed to decriminalize weed have been adopted only in some Western countries. And even the long-proven medical benefits of cannabis products have not improved the situation much outside select countries in Europe and several US states.