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Profiles in Cannabis: Dr. Lester Grinspoon

  • by Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator September 19, 2009

    LesterGrinspoonNORML is proud to confirm that Dr. Lester Grinspoon will be delivering the luncheon remarks (via skype) at the 2009 National Conference in San Francisco, CA.

    Dr. Grinspoon is Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and served for 40 years as Senior Psychiatrist at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston. A Fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Psychiatric Association, he was the founding editor of both the Annual Review of Psychiatry and the Harvard Mental Health Letter.

    He is the author or co-author of over 160 journal articles, including his 1995 commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association entitled “Marihuana as Medicine: A Plea for Reconsideration.” His first book, Marihuana Reconsidered, originally published in 1971 by Harvard University Press, was recently republished as a classic. His latest book, Marihuana, the Forbidden Medicine, co-authored with James B. Bakalar, was published by Yale University Press in 1993 (revised and expanded edition, 1997) and has now been translated into ten languages. Dr. Grinspoon was also a reviewer of the 1999 Institute of Medicine report, “Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base.”

    In 1990 Dr. Grinspoon received the Alfred R. Lindesmith Award for Achievement in the Field of Scholarship and Writing from the Drug Policy Foundation (now Alliance) in Washington, DC. He presently serves on NORML’s Advisory Board and maintains www.marijuana-uses.com, which chronicles real life stories of people who have had positive “non-medical” experiences with marijuana.

    “When I first began to study marijuana in 1967, I naïvely believed that its only use was as a recreational drug,” says Grinspoon. “I soon came to understand that it also had a second important utility, as a medicine, and I published (along with James B. Bakalar) Marijuana, the Forbidden Medicine.  Just as penicillin, after its discovery as an antibiotic in 1941, was soon hailed as a wonder drug because of its limited toxicity, its versatility in treating a number of different kinds of symptoms and syndromes, and its limited cost, we believe that marijuana, for the same three reasons, will eventually be hailed as a wonder medicine. Over the last decade and a half I have come to believe that there is a third category of marijuana use –enhancement.”

    Lester Grinspoon says, “Yes we cannabis” and so should you! Register for NORML’s 38th annual conference, taking place September 24-26 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown San Francisco. For registration information, please visit: http://www.norml.org/conference.

    More about Dr. Lester Grinspoon:

    Dr. Lester Grinspoon’s Marijuana Uses webpage: http://marijuana-uses.com/index.html

    JAMA: Marihuana as Medicine: A Plea for Reconsideration: http://www.csdp.org/kz/tlcjama.html

    Boston Globe: Marijuana as Wonder Drug: http://www.rxmarijuana.com/wonder_drug.htm

    13 Responses to “Profiles in Cannabis: Dr. Lester Grinspoon”

    1. James says:

      Oh wow! I followed the link to marijuana-uses. It sure is a unique site design. Anyway, I clicked a couple of times and then read ONE essay. I was blown away by that one essay. I have not read any others yet as I had to come back here right away and say “Hey everyone, look at this!”

      http://marijuana-uses.com/essays/070.html

      Smoke On, and *God Bless Dr. Grinspoon, Tom Ammiano and all the others who give real legitimacy to “the cause”.

      *I do not go a church these days. By “God” I mean God, Allah, Buddha, and/or whatever supreme being(s) gave us all things, including The Sacred Plant.

    2. Samson says:

      This is what is needed. More old timerz on the pin-up posters for Pro-pot awareness. I am glad to add one more use to the list : Recreational/Medicinal/Industrial/Enhancement

    3. J Velasco says:

      Having Dr. Lester Grinspoon at the top of Harvard’s Psychiatry Dept. insures Harvard’s place as the cutting edge of the Profession.

    4. Stompedonmyrights says:

      So we know it was a mistake to outlaw, we know it was done as fraud, we are going over and over what we already know, we are becoming like the system, just going over and over the same old crap and never bring about a change. I want off that bus and I want on the bus that will bring about change before another 800,000 plus brothers and sister are abrogated upon. I am not interested in congress finding their way back home.

      Greed in keeping this illegal has been on both sides of the street. Those not caught don’t want it legal because they will lose money, the market will be more stable and a whole lot safer. It would be nice to see law enforcement protect our crops not destory them. I like to think a person could be protected from being robbed and possible hurt. It be great if transaction could take place in the like of day and in the open like everyone else. Be nice if the powers to be could just pull their heads out of their ass, but I haven’t heard that wonderful sound as of yet, should be the biggest pop we have ever heard.
      Again a few hurdred thousand writs to the high court asking to review the fruad and nullify the legislation as unconstitution will effect the situation faster than waiting for the baboons in the congress to quit slinging their shit at us.

    5. Jed The head says:

      This going to be a great conference. Dr. Grinspoon has been a great positive force for cannabis as a medicine for many years. We all owe him a big thank you.

    6. […] Profiles in Cannabis: Dr. Lester Grinspoon Share and […]

    7. R.O.E. says:

      Here we are yet again, another man of reason,medicine and science. Someone who knows the truth.

      How much more do we need to over come greed and corruption in government .

      Corruption: A disease that spares no one.

    8. Stompedonmyrights says:

      I read what the good docotor wrote, I know what he is saying is true. But they are not listening to people of reason, they are not listening to educated people, they only thing that the government has heard is the fraud and to them it is the truth. If they will not listen to the smartest most educated person on this matter how will they ever hear us? Someone explain to me how running over the same truths will bring action and change? Sorry about my spelling in these many blogs, sometimes my brain is running faster than my typing ability. But I think you all know what I am saying.

    9. Fireweed says:

      Geez, how much more credibility does the marijuana movement need than to have Dr. Grinspoon on our team?!?!?! I have admired Dr. Grinspoon’s work for two decades. That he hasn’t been presented in mainstream media only further suggests that there are organized influences behind the way marijuana is portrayed and discussed in the media.

      I especially like Dr. Grinspoon’s including “enhancement” as a third use category for marijuana. I’ve always felt I just do better with smoking pot on a regular basis, now I know I”m not the only one who sees this. I feel validated.

      But like so many of you I”m starting to feel seriously impatient with the mainstream’s persistent adherence to unreason and for allowing myths and stereotypes to persist and continue to evolve.

      What would happen if everybody who smoked, including and especially those who smoke in secret, one day at 4:20 were to just get off the couch, walk off the job, walk into the streets and light up, all at the same time? Would they arrest us all? Would they fire us all?

    10. Stompedonmyrights says:

      Marc Emery who helped found the British Columbia Marijuana Party, has been a publisher of the Cannabis Culture, Marijuana Magazine, he has actively fought to legalize marijuana for years is now planning to plead guilty to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana for selling marijuana seeds to Americans, Sept. 28, in a federal court in Seattle. STOP, Do not plead and amke it easy on them. Mr. Emery needs a good jury, a well educated jury in Washington. NORML and the 40 million American need to make him our example that we are no longer going to let this fraud harm another person.

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