Psychiatrist Lester Grinspoon Smoked Weed with Carl Sagan—A Lot

By David Bienenstock

Dr. Lester Grinspoon’s interest in marijuana dates back to 1967, the year he decided to research the subject sufficiently enough to convince his best friend—who just happened to be Carl Sagan—and a few other associates to stop smoking the stuff. While the internationally renowned astronomer never publicly acknowledged his use of cannabis, the bestselling author and host of “Cosmos” did partake frequently and enthusiastically in private, invariably encouraging his straight-laced companion Lester to join in.
Instead, Dr. Grinspoon began to visit the Harvard Medical School library, prepared to spend as much time as necessary putting together a well-referenced argument against grass, one that would demonstrate a medical and scientific basis for the plant’s prohibition. Instead of finding the hard data he’d expected, however, Grinspoon had an epiphany—he’d been brainwashed about marijuana, as had just about every other citizen in the United States.
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