High History / Part XXV / Carl Edward Sagan

8 months ago


In an essay written for the 1971 book Marihuana Reconsidered (1st published in 1971 & updated in 1977), Dr. Sagan described his history of marijuana use and how he thought it had been a positive force in his life. He wrote under a false name out of fear that he would negatively impact his career and reputation by writing such an article.


So Who Was He ?

  • Carl Edward Sagan (November 9, 1934, Brooklyn - Dec. 20, 1996, Seattle) was an American astronomer, author, cosmologist and astrophysicist who has made a great contribution to promoting and popularizing science.

  • He was the pioneer of exobiology and founder of the SETI - Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. He is known all over the world for his science books, but mostly because of Cosmos Television: Traveling to the Universe, the most watched program of PBS television before 1990.

  • Sagan attended the University of Chicago where, in 1960, he earned his doctorate in astronomy and astrophysics. He worked at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


  • Until 1968, he taught and researched at Harvard University until he moved to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, becoming a full-time teacher in 1971. Sagan worked in conjunction with the US Space Program from its conception in the 1950's, where among its tasks was also the training of astronauts participating in Apollo missions.

  • He wrote a ton of scientific papers and books. He is most famous for his theories about extraterrestrial life, and for writing and narrating the TV series, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Throughout his life he earned several awards, including a Pulitzer and two Emmys.

Carl Sagan & Cannabis

  • When he was 35 years old, in 1969, Sagan wrote an essay, talking about the insights he got when he smoked #Marijuana, and advocating for marijuana legalization.

  • Later in life, Sagan openly advocated for the legalization of medical marijuana. It took three years after Sagan's death that the public knew, he was the author of the 1969 essay.


  • Sagan's essay makes a strong case that marijuana is a valuable tool for intellectuals. He was a brilliant scientist who wrote that being high actually helped him think of some of his great ideas.

  • Carl Sagan was a life long marijuana user and closeted advocate of legalization. He told us in his essay, the effects it had on his life and why he felt it should be legalized.

The 1969 Anonymous Essay

The essay, that Carl Sagan wrote in 1969 for Marihuana Reconsidered can be found in its entirety Here, while below you can read some of quotes that he wrote:

When I'm high I can penetrate into the past, recall childhood memories, friends, relatives, playthings, streets, smells, sounds, and tastes from a vanished era.
Again, the learning experience when high has at least to some extent carried over when I'm down.
A very similar improvement in my appreciation of music has occurred with cannabis.
The cannabis experience has greatly improved my appreciation for art, a subject which I had never much appreciated before.
A Society Without Cannabis Lacks Unfiltered Levels of Perception.

Well said, Carl...

Video Via YouTube

Carl Sagan, The titan of scientific study, died in 1996, leaving behind an expansive legacy of education. He assumed a diverse set of roles throughout his life, including as a longtime casual user of and advocate for marijuana.

Reference & Photos / Wikipedia / Huffpost /

Before Prohibition, when #Cannabis plants grew freely, many of Notable People throughout #History, created necessary contributions to the event of common Cannabis Usage, throughout the ages, from ancient civilizations, to queens, to presidents, to emperors. So, if missed out one celebrity of High History Series,

feel free to check :

Ramesses The Great / William Shakespeare / James Monroe / Queen Victoria / Marijuana Inside The Tomb / Hua Tuo / William Brooke O'Shaughnessy / Herodotus, Democritus & Dioscorides / Ottoman Empire / Cannabis Club / Henry VIII & Elizabeth I / St.Hildegard Von Bingen / Louisa May Alcott / Queen Hatshepsut / Scythians & Herodotus / Maya Angelou / Isak Dinesen / Margaret Mead / Carolus Linnaeus / Jean Baptiste Lamarck / Joan of Arc / Friedrich Nietzsche / Andre Breton / Christopher Columbus /

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Good old Lester.

Gotta love Carl Sagan. Recently was reminded of a more than 20 years old book by him which had this awesome bit of wisdom in.

Btw we are now down to max. 4 seconds. Especially online upon first site visit. Go imagine how much interstitial or overlays like the age one we need to use on Smoke may damage a site’s stats.

Carl Sagan was an absolute saint and genius, a gift to all mankind. I urge anyone that hasn't yet done so, to go and watch his entire Cosmos series asap ...

P.S. 5 SMOKEBIT sent to official-smokebot (see vote from @officialfuzzy)

One of the most influential early thinkers and science presenters I find so inspirational.

When i read the first para of the essay, i felt each words have been written for me :) .. Perfect!!

(that being stoned actually helped him come up with some of his great ideas.) Great words, read with great interest.