Carl Sagan’s Cannabis Closet

Perhaps the greatest highdea ever:

Sagan wrote eloquently – but pseudonymously  about the joys of weed. As his friend Lester Grinspoon recalls:

As much as [Sagan] loved marijuana, he was always very concerned about people finding out. For instance, one of the early pieces I wrote on the subject appeared in The New York Times Magazine, and in it I said something to the effect, “People have the idea that only these hirsute young hippie kids use marijuana, but in fact a lot of ordinary and even extraordinary people smoke it, including professionals.” Then I mentioned doctors, lawyers, etc. Well, in that list I included astronomers. And when that came out, it was the only time Carl ever expressed any anger towards me. Because he thought mentioning astronomers would give him away based on our friendship.

Grinspoon recounts the time the two got baked on a cruise to the South Pacific to see Halley’s Comet:

I smuggled about an ounce of marijuana on board, and we had a wonderful time. Carl had the top cabin on the ship, including a deck where we could sit and smoke and talk and eat—for hours on end—while watching the beautiful cloud formations over the Pacific. When the cruise was over, we still had some marijuana left. I didn’t want to go through Customs with it, so I told Carl that I was going to toss it down a companionway I had noticed was marked “Crew Only,” trusting that it would be enjoyed among the mates. But he asked me not to, because we might somehow be found out. So we weighed the baggie down with one of those old glass ashtrays, and tossed it overboard. I hated to let this precious stuff go down to the bottom of the sea, and didn’t really see how we could ever have gotten caught passing it along, but I had to respect Carl’s objection. Really, it was very important that he not get in trouble. He was testifying before NASA and Congressional committees all the time.

Previous Dish on Sagan and marijuana here.