Read Carl Sagan’s Compelling Pitch For An American TV Show About Drugs

The release of previously unpublished correspondence reveals that, in 1990, Carl Sagan sent a letter to the president of the Drug Policy Foundation with an idea for what, even today, sounds like an amazing television program about drug issues in America.

It is now widely recognized that Sagan, while he was alive, not only smoked marijuana, but supported its legalization and use. The former he did with some regularity (Sagan’s widow, Ann Druyan, specifies that the two of them "smoked the way other American families would have wine with dinner"); the latter, however, he did far less often – and when he did, he did so quietly. According to Druyan, Sagan’s public marijuana advocacy was severely limited by his prominent role at NASA. Some of Sagan’s most cogent thoughts on drug policy were therefore made public only under the protection of pseudonymity, most famously in a 1969 essay, written under the assumed name of "Mr. X," in which Sagan presents his personal experiences with cannabis and the virtues of its use. Only after Sagan’s death did Lester Grinspoon, professor emeritus of psychiatry at Harvard University and editor of the book in which the essay appeared, reveal the true identity of Mr. X.

All this is to say that Sagan clearly devoted a great deal of thought to drug policy, even if he did not always make his musings public. Now, many of Sagan’s private thoughts on marijuana and America’s drug war have been brought to light.

This summer, Marijuana Majority founder Tom Angell spent several days poring over some 600,000 of Sagan’s personal papers, recently acquired by the Library of Congress, to discover some of the iconic cosmologist’s previously unpublished thoughts on marijuana and America’s War on Drugs.

– Read the entire article at io9.