Dr. Peter Grinspoon is a general practitioner at Harvard University, writer, medical cannabis specialist, and lecturer. In 2016 he published the book “Free Refills: A Doctor Confronts His Addiction” which seeks to explain the vulnerability of healthcare personnel to addiction and quickly became a global bestseller as it confronts the stigma, taboo, and prejudice associated with addiction.
Peter’s relationship with medical cannabis is long-standing, dating back to his relationship with his father, Dr. Lester Grinspoon, who in 1971 wrote the book Marihuana Reconsidered, which calls for the legalization of cannabis. And in fact, the cannabis genetics bank, Barney’s Farm, in the city of Amsterdam, created a strain in his honor.
“Barney’s has a strain called Dr. Grinspoon. I have to admit I’ve tried it. And it’s really a good strain. It’s very perceptive. It’s very stimulating and cerebral, kind of like my dad,” says Peter proudly, from his home in Newton, Massachusetts.
In his writings and lectures, Dr. Grinspoon advocates for harm reduction policies for addiction treatment. His book addresses issues that are taboo in the medical field and in society at large.
Peter tells us that the idea of “Free Refills” refers to health professionals having unlimited access to prescriptions, but in general, the title also refers to a particular phenomenon starting in the US in 2000, when Purdue Pharmaceutical undertook a massive advertising campaign “to convince everyone that the treatment for chronic pain was opioids, specifically OxyContin.”
Oxycodone is a potent opium-derived analgesic that decreases discomfort by increasing pain tolerance, causes sedation, drowsiness, and depresses breathing. Prolonged use generates dependence and withdrawal symptoms such as cold sweats, cramps, dizziness, tachycardia, diarrhea, vomiting, and hallucinations.
Published: September 14, 2021
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News