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Harvard Professor Emeritus, Dr. Lester Grinspoon testifies that there is no rational basis in science for criminalizing use of marijuana.
“I’ve been smoking marijuana for 44 years now, and … I think it’s a tremendous blessing.
In fact, I first began to look at marijuana as a professor of psychiatry at Harvard medical school in 1967…
I wanted to do something about all these young people who were using this terribly dangerous drug and perhaps if I could write a reasonably objective statement about this and get it published, in a vehicle which they would be interested in, maybe I could do something about it.
Much to my astonishment, here I was trained in science and medicine and had to discover that I had been brainwashed like just about every other American.
I first approached it [marijuana] from the point of view—you know—I was sure it was unsafe. Once I was convinced that it was safe, and satisfied my curiosity about it, it took me a number of years to realize what a remarkable substance it was.
I have also concluded that there’s a third reason [for humans to use marijuana], I mean, there’s recreation, there’s medicine, and there’s what I call ‘enhancement.’
It astonishes me that we can’t get around this prohibition. It’s like something is sacred about it. You can’t question it. You can’t bring any factual data to it…”
Aspirin is “safe,” although it claims between 1,000-2,000 people per year.
With cannabis, it’s been around for thousands of years. There has never been a death – never been a death.
Is there any other substance in the pharmacoepia about which you can make that claim? I’m not sure there is.” ~ Dr. Grinspoon
Lester Grinspoon, M.D., is associate professor emeritus of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and the author of Marihuana Reconsidered, and Marijuana: The Forbidden Medicine. He is considered to be the most eminent scientist in the field of medical marijuana. As a doctor, Grinspoon was the first American physician to prescribe lithium carbonate for bipolar disorders. He also founded the Harvard Mental Health Letter, and was its editor fifteen years.
Grinspoon originally endeavored to write Marijuana Reconsidered in order to build a case against marijuana, but as his research progressed, he realized the complexities of the plant and was moved to advocate for legalization. He has testified before Congress and as an expert witness in various legal proceedings, including the deportation hearings of John Lennon.
an excerpt from “Marihuana, the forbidden Medicine“:
In spite of the illegality of marihuana and the prejudices against it, large numbers of Americans continue to use cannabis regularly. Once considered a youthful indulgence or expression of youthful rebellion, marihuana smoking is now a common adult practice. Millions have smoked marihuana for years, and many of them will continue to smoke it for the rest of their lives. They are convinced that they are harming no one else and not harming themselves, if at all, as much as cigarette smokers or alcohol drinkers are.
Most users, in fact, believe that marihuana enhances their lives — a subject rarely discussed in print. In more than two decades of research, I have read a great deal about the potential harmfulness of cannabis (much of it nonsense) and very little about its value. Although this value has several aspects, medical use is one of the most important and one that has been seriously neglected. I have come to conclude that if any other drug had revealed similar therapeutic promise combined with a similar record of safety, professionals and the public would have shown far more interest in it. The largely undeserved reputation of cannabis as a harmful recreational drug and the resulting legal restrictions have made medical use and research difficult. As a result, the medical community has become ignorant about cannabis and has been both an agent and a victim in the spread of misinformation and frightening myths.
This wonderful audio interview with Dr. Grinspoon
“Puffing is the best medicine” – Dr. Grinspoon