By Steve Elliott
While internationally renowned astronomer Dr. Carl Sagan never publicly acknowledged his use of marijuana during his lifetime, the bestselling author and host of the popular TV series "Cosmos" did enjoy cannabis frequently and enthusiastically in private -- and he eventually convinced his straight-laced friend, Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Lester Grinspoon, to join in.
This happened, mind you, after Dr. Grinspoon, in 1967, had decided to research this marijuana stuff thoroughly enough to convince his best friend -- who was, you guessed it, Sagan -- to stop using the stuff, reported David Bienenstock of Motherboard in 2013. But what happened when Grinspoon visited the Harvard Medical School library, preparing to put together well-referenced argument against marijuana, was that he discovered he'd been brainwashed on the subject, as had just about everyone else in the United States.
Dr. Grinspoon encountered considerable pressure at Harvard to leave the subject of cannabis alone, but he didn't yield in his quest. In 1971, he published Marihuana Reconsidered to document his findings. The book, which described a decades-long government propaganda campaign to keep marijuana illegal, became a bestseller.