Marijuana legalization pioneer Dr. Lester Grinspoon (92) passes away

Lester Grinspoon, M.D., the longtime Harvard professor, psychiatrist, and author of twelve books — including Marihuana Reconsidered,  — passed away at 92 years old.

"His extraordinary personal commitment to advancing both marijuana policy and the NORML organization demonstrated his deeply held belief that we all have an obligation to fight injustice whenever and wherever we find it", NORML said in a statement.

"For the last five decades, Dr. Grinspoon was the intellectual leader of the marijuana legalization movement. Like most of his generation, he began with an assumption that marijuana was a dangerous drug and should be prohibited. But those biases were initially challenged by Dr. Grinspoon’s close friend, (then) Harvard colleague astronomer Carl Sagan, who convinced him that his initial negative views about marijuana were likely mistaken, and that he might personally find the marijuana experience to be a positive one."

"In addition, Dr. Grinspoon and his wife Betsy had the tragic experience of losing their son Danny to cancer when he was a young teenager. During Danny’s final year of treatment, they saw firsthand that marijuana was incredibly effective at helping him endure the ravaging side effects from the high doses of chemotherapy he was being given. This personal tragedy helped shape Grinspoon’s belief that marijuana was a valuable medicine. In 1993, he authored (with James B. Bakalar) the book Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine, which argued for the legalization of cannabis so that its full medicinal potential could be harnessed."

Read the full obituary at NORML (Keith Stroup)


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