Last week the New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote a piece,“Weed Been There, Done That,” which slammed the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and other states and labeled users stupid at worst and indolent at best. Among other criticisms, he wrote that cannabis is “not a particularly uplifting form of pleasure and should be discouraged more than encouraged.”
In making his case, Brooks cited long-debunked research and relied on old stereotypes that serious scholars discredited decades ago. One of the leading thinkers on the topic is Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Harvard psychiatrist and author of the 1971 classic, Marihuana Reconsidered, an exhaustive study of the scientific, medical, cultural and legal arguments against the plant. That book stripped away the myths, lies and distortions surrounding cannabis and sparked an enormous debate in this country and around the world. Joe Dolce spoke to the doctor, who is 85, from his home in Newton, Massachusetts.