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10 Cool Things About Carl Sagan


8
Tried to Have Marijuana Legalized
Sagan was a lifelong user and advocate for legalizing marijuana. © Curi Hyvrard/Corbis
Sagan was a lifelong user and advocate for legalizing marijuana. © Curi Hyvrard/Corbis

Perhaps taking the meaning of "high in the sky" to another level, Sagan secretly (then not-so-secretly) advocated that marijuana use was beneficial. In an essay he authored in 1969 at age 35 under the name "Mr. X," Sagan outlined marijuana's positive effects on his sensibilities. Marijuana, wrote Sagan, made music, art, food and sex better [source: Wing].

It wasn't until three years after Sagan's 1996 death that the author of "Carl Sagan: A Life," revealed him as the author of the pro-pot post. However, Sagan had already revealed himself as a marijuana advocate years earlier. During at least one interview, Sagan said he supported the legalized use of marijuana by the terminally ill.

"Is it rational to forbid patients who are dying from taking marijuana as a palliative to permit them to gain body weight and to get some food down? It seems madness to say, 'We're worried that they're going to become addicted to marijuana.' There's no evidence whatever that it's an addictive drug, but even if it were, these people are dying," Sagan said. "What are we saving them from?"