One of them grabbed me by the shoulder, showed me his police badge and shouted, “You are old enough to know better than to be smoking marijuana,” as he placed me under arrest…They seemed far more upset that two old men were smoking pot!
Of the several experts who were part of our regular “road show” at NORML during the 1970s, I wanted to focus today on two of them who were both unexpected and wonderfully effective — Dr. Dorthy Whipple and former DEA Deputy Director John Finlator.
John Lennon obviously thought something good might result from his focusing national attention on this unjust prison sentence for a minor marijuana offense, but I suspect he was as pleasantly shocked as the rest of us when, shortly following the event, the Michigan Supreme Court took action to free John Sinclair.
Without marijuana there would be no marijuana smokers and without marijuana smokers there would be no marijuana legalization movement.
Jimmy Carter was the first US President ever to endorse the decriminalization of marijuana, first during his 1976 campaign and again in 1977 in a statement to Congress — which I helped to draft
That enormous challenge of reversing marijuana prohibition would not have been possible without the earlier work of LeMar, Amorphia and those pot-head jazz musicians and hip poets.
One of the more pleasant personal benefits of spending much of my professional life working at NORML has been the opportunity to meet and work with a number of interesting celebrities who were equally motivated to speak out against marijuana prohibition.
When I started NORML in late 1970 I realized that our movement would need the support of some courageous doctors and other health experts to overcome the widely-held perception that existed at that time that marijuana must remain a crime to protect the public health. I found that support in Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Dr. Norman Zinberg, and others.