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Grinspoon was dedicated to advancing hashish coverage all through his life. He wrote 12 books over the course of his profession, together with Marijuana Reconsidered, an influential work that argued for the top of hashish prohibition.

A local of Massachusetts, Grinspoon studied at Harvard Medical School, and later joined the college there as a professor. His curiosity in hashish started within the 1960s, when he mentioned its use within the U.S. “increased explosively.”


Dr. Lester, throughout his preliminary years, was skeptical about Marijuana. He believed that it was a dangerous drug inflicting mistaken in society, which compelled him to review the hashish plant much more. Dr. Lester aimed to convey proof to help the risks of Marijuana. However, he quickly realized that he was misinformed and misled.

Once Dr. Grinspoon started his evaluation of the obtainable literature within the 1970s, he concluded that there was no purpose to deal with marijuana people who smoke as criminals; and much more importantly, he adopted his previous good friend’s perspective that in the precise state of affairs, marijuana smoking may be an enriching expertise. He ended up being a leisure marijuana smoker for the stability of his life.

I lastly tried it in 1972 or ’73, someday round when Danny did it for the primary time. You know I keep in mind the day very properly as a result of in testimony at the moment, I used to be fairly often not all the time requested, “Have you ever used marijuana?” I used to be capable of say no, however then there was one – actually it was earlier than this Massachusetts Legislative Committee and this very hostile Senator mentioned to me, “Dr. Grinspoon, do you use marijuana? Have you ever used marijuana?” I mentioned to him lastly, “Look Senator, I’d be glad to answer that question, but first would you tell me if I answer affirmatively would that make my testimony more or less credible to you?” He obtained so pissed. He instructed me I used to be being impertinent and he stood up and walked out of the listening to. I got here residence and I mentioned to Betsy, “You know, the time has come…. Let’s try it.” You know, each time we went to a celebration the Cambridge folks would supply it to us, and folks would usually say, “You mean to say you wrote a book on marijuana and you’ve never used it?”

I’d say, “Well I wrote a book on schizophrenia and I never tried that either.”

By 1971, he wrote a e book titled “Marihuana Reconsidered.” The New York Times applauded it because the “best dope on pot so far.” Throughout the e book, Dr. Lester offered analysis and a robust case for Cannabis’s legalization. He confronted a number of criticism from his colleagues, the scientific neighborhood, and President Richard Nixon’s.

“After three years of research on cannabis, I concluded that not only was it much less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, but also that no harm it might cause was nearly as serious as the damage attributable to the annual arrest of 400,000 mostly young people on marihuana charges,” Grinspoon wrote within the introduction of a reprint of the e book.

The e book turned Grinspoon right into a minor celeb. The Times, in its evaluation, wrote that “hopefully many Americans will read Lester Grinspoon’s “Marihuana Reconsidered” and make the most of the knowledge so properly offered in reaching their very own determination on ‘spot,’ to legalize or not.”

It additionally drew the eye of the sitting president on the time, which was revealed years later in Richard Nixon’s Oval Office recordings.

“Every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish,” Nixon mentioned in one of many recordings. On Grinspoon, Nixon was as blunt as he was harsh: “this clown is far on the left.”

Lester’s scholarly credentials made it unimaginable to disregard his lengthy advocacy for marijuana and marijuana legalization. He appeared as an knowledgeable witness earlier than a number of committees of the U.S. Congress in addition to many state legislative committees. In 1990 he acquired the Alfred R. Lindesmith Award for Achievement within the Field of Scholarship and Writing from the Drug Policy Foundation in Washington, D.C. In 1999 the NORML board of administrators established the Lester Grinspoon Award for Outstanding Achievement within the Field of Marijuana Law Reform, our highest honor, and Grinspoon was appropriately the primary recipient.

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