5 | Peter Grinspoon, M.D., Author of Free Refills: A Doctor Confronts His Addiction

Harvard-educated physician Peter Grinspoon, M.D. shares his unique perspective on the opioid crisis, and how cannabis can help those who suffer from addiction, and many other conditions. Author of the brutally honest memoir Free Refills: A Doctor Confronts His Addiction, Grinspoon is now on staff at Massachusetts General Hospital.


Kannaboomers 0:19
This week, we have Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a primary care physician at an inner city clinic in Boston, and he’s also on staff at Massachusetts General Hospital. Peter is the author of Free Refills: A Doctor Confronts His Addiction, a really unflinching and often funny — although you wouldn’t think a funny topic, topic but a weighty take on the ordeal of becoming addicted to opioids as a doctor and the many obstacles in your way to recovery. But Peter has conquered that and he’s been clean for 10 years. So we’re going to talk about book about how cannabis can actually help address some of the problems around the opioid crisis in this country. And also learn what it’s like to have your dad getting high with the famous astrophysicist downstairs. All good stuff. Enjoy the show and let us know what you think. I did read your book. It was really good and really witty in the ways that you took lemons and made some lemonade, I guess. Um, you were a philosophy major. And it kind of shows the way you think about things.

Peter Grinspoon, M.D. 1:12
Well, you know, you’ll learn a lot when you go through recovery. Those of us who are lucky enough to get through to the other side of addiction and you’ll learn a lot and it really changes how you view the world,

Kannaboomers 1:31
Especially given your medical school training. And then your work as an MD in the sort of privileged access you had to some of the drugs and then your understanding of every every aspect of biochemistry, the practical, everyday considerations, even the emotional impact and almost spiritual impact of once you go into recovery. But you have a view of that stuff that I think is a lot more nuanced and considered then then a lot of us do.

Peter Grinspoon, M.D. 1:58
Yeah, I do feel like I approach the opiate issue from a sort of unique perspectives because I am in recovery from addiction, opiate addiction, and I’ve also treated a lot of patients who are an opiate who are who have been addicted to opiates. And also I’ve treated a lot of physicians who are addicted not just to opiates, but addicted to general physicians have a higher rate of addiction than the general population because of their stress and your access. That’s why I called my memoir Free Refills, we essentially have unlimited access to prescription medication. And if you mix together access to medications, which you know, are shortcut to dealing with emotional problems and stress. With the epidemic, we’re having a physician burnout, it’s a perfect storm for addiction. So that’s why the recent addition in the general population are thought to be about 9%. And among physicians, it’s thought to be about 10 to 15%, but you don’t hear that much about it. Because it’s a taboo subject, which is part of why I wrote my memoir, to make the point that doctors are normal people, they can get addicted, they can recover, and it’s a problem that they need help with. Unfortunately, when your doctor and I think this is probably true for nurse, pilot, and people and other safety related professions, if you are to ask for help, and if you are struggling, the responses punitive, you can get your license taken away. Consequently, nobody asks for help. So instead of getting help early, when this thing your addiction, or your depression, or whatever you’re struggling with is more treatable. You end up struggling on your own, and then it ends up being a disaster. You hear about the surgeon who’s drunk in the ER, he gets his license, he or she get their license revoked, you know, it’s the front page of the newspaper, it’s a huge, so part of what I’m interested in is making the response less punitive so that people can feel comfortable asking for help and getting help earlier, which should be safer for patients, safer for the doctors and just a much better way to go about handling the reality of addiction and depression and mental health issues in caregivers, nurses, doctors and other safety professionals.

Kannaboomers 4:28
So it is an occupational hazard and you are able to navigate it certainly wasn’t easy in the book you detail it took years for you to earn back the trust and to actually do the work I mean, it’s not easy work, right? All of us have brains that are susceptible to to these substances and nobody’s immune to that.

Peter Grinspoon, M.D. 4:49
Well, it’s interesting, um, it was really hard work. Um, I gave one book talk in a woman said, You know, I took Percocet after delivering after my C section, and I didn’t feel euphoric and I didn’t want to take more Percocet. And you know, my reality was that the first time I took Percocet, I wanted to keep taking it over and over again, I was so euphoric, I spent the next 10 years of my life trying to recreate that high and then interestingly, you know, in a physician support group meeting a different one is some someone said, when I had my first drink of alcohol, I couldn’t stop drinking. That was it it, made me so euphoric that I kept drinking and drinking and drinking and I personally don’t like alcohol at all. It just makes me sick But it doesn’t make me euphoric, I don’t even see the appeal. So it seems to me that different drugs have different affinity for different people’s brains you know that were woman didn’t have an affinity for Percocet. I had a huge affinity for Vicodin, which is very close to Percocet. this other guy had a huge affinity for alcohol, which I don’t have, you know, a certain percentage of our population are alcoholics, when they drink alcohol, they get used to it and can’t stop drinking. So I think that drugs can hijack your brain if you’re susceptible to it part of its environmental part of his genetics and sort of really hard to predict who’s going to get in trouble. It’s like, you know, the lottery but a very negative lottery. But it’s sort of scary because, you know, if the doctor we prescribe opiates for people, when they have a lot of pain, and a certain percentage of people do get addicted.

Kannaboomers 6:29
Again, you are intimately associated with the inside of the medical profession, and you’ve been through this, what do you see as our best way forward? I mean, the epidemic that we’re in I don’t know if it’s even peaked yet. What do you think can be done to protect us from some of the damage that occurs when people get hooked on on some of these drugs?

Peter Grinspoon, M.D. 6:50
Well, ideally, we’re transitioning people from street drugs to Suboxone, or methadone, the medications that are called medication-assisted treatment, which are much safer. Suboxone is prescribed in the doctor’s office. And methadone is an older drug you get in the methadone clinics, and they have been shown to reduce the risk of overdose and reduce cravings and we view it is sort of like giving insulin to a diabetic it’s they are opiates, but they’re very difficult to overdose on. And on these medications. People can often go back to normal lifestyles so we are very eager and getting people who are addicted and who are choosing street drugs onto these medications. Because a lot of people taking street drugs these days is very dangerous because of the street heroin and even the pills on the street that you get that look like Percocet or like it can be contaminated with fentanyl and which is a very strong opiate that is often imported from China and people overdosing left and right and dying from these overdoses. So we’re trying to get people weren’t street drugs on to safer opiates, which we prescribed in the office we’re trying to get Naloxone in the hands of everyone, which is the drug that reverses overdoses so that if someone does overdose they can it’s a nasal spray, they can reverse it right away. Because when you overdose on opiates, you stop breathing this can get you breathing again on the way to the hospital or while you’re waiting from 911 we are very much in favor of safe injection sites were addicted people are going to inject regardless of whether or not you know they have a safe place to do it. You know, so instead of having people inject in the public bathroom of McDonalds on and have a safe place for them to inject. But there’s medical monitoring, just like clean needles were very controversial 20 or 30 years ago, moralistic people thought we don’t want to encourage drug use. Let’s not give people clean needles. And then once they started distributing clean needles through rates of HIV started dropping, it’s the same thing with safe injection sites, there will be less overdoses and you have a chance to get people into treatment. But this is controversial. And we have a ways to go before people a lot of certain segments of our society except this. So there are a lot of things we’re trying to do to get to the end of the opiate crisis. I personally think that there’s been a there’s been a lot of pressure on doctors to prescribe fewer opiates and it’s true that have been prescribed fewer opiates, there will be less people on opiates in the future. And less will be it’s floating around for people to kind of take out of someone else’s medicine closet and take and get addicted to, which is a major category people getting addicted court currently. But at the same time, this draconian pressure not to prescribe is actually harming a lot of chronic pain patients who are currently on very high doses of opiates whether they should or shouldn’t have been started. Now they are on these high doses. And it’s very awful that a lot of them are on these high doses and are having a hard time finding doctors to prescribe them. A lot of them are having to go cold turkey are being forced to taper so I don’t believe we should cut people off that are already on high doses of opiates. But I do think we should offer them the opportunity to use alternative medicines. And I think we should be very judicious about starting new patients on high-dose opiates because they really aren’t great medications for chronic pain in my office. I’m using more medical cannabis for new chronic pain patients and trying really hard not to start new patients on high dose of opiates it’s so that we don’t have this problem in the future. If we don’t get people on high dose opiates. Now there will be fewer opiates in medicine closets for other people to take or for patients to get addicted to. which is part of how the current opiate epidemic got started. Some people need opiates because they’re strong and effective for some conditions. But they’re really not that effective. For most chronic pain at the medical cannabis is a safer choice but with pain. Beggars can’t be choosers and we just don’t have a lot of great options. opiates can cause overdoses and people can get addicted. Medical cannabis doesn’t work for everybody. And there’s some stigma against it, which we’re working very hard to fight against. Because cannabis is much safer than opiates, and is probably safer than the non-steroidals like Advil and naproxen, Alieve, medications like that medications did non-steroidal and I just mentioned can cause ulcers and kidney damage and can cause heart attacks as well. So you can’t use those year after year. And a lot of people don’t find Tylenol to be particularly effective. So there just aren’t a lot of great options for pain control. But the key is to not get more people on higher dose opiates unless they absolutely need it as this final component so that there will be fewer people on higher dose opiates and fewer opiates floating around. The final point I’d make is that we’ve fought this war on drugs for the last 50 years or so. Which has been utter disaster. You know, we go after one source of drugs coming into the country or producing the country and another pops up right away. It’s profitable to sell and, you know, produce drugs. It’s we need to end the war drugs and focus on treatments. We treat people with opiate addiction. That’s how we’re going to end the epidemic. Not by chasing after dealers, though it would be nice if we could stop all of the cheap and difficult to detect and lethal fentanyl coming from China. That would be a big help. But generally speaking, treatment is much more important than this crazy, militaristic, criminal justice approach to the war on drugs from within your profession.

Kannaboomers 13:31
Is this a radical sort of idea? How far out there are you? Are there other doctors who are with you in this kind of thinking?

Peter Grinspoon, M.D. 13:40
Well, I would say that most of what I just said most doctors would agree with the safe injection sites where people can use opiates in a safe room as opposed to like in a public bathroom. I’m not sure all doctors are in agreement with that because some feel like the rest of the population, like that’s encouraging drugs. But I think many doctors are being supported that I think almost all doctors are in favor of medication assisted treatment like Suboxone and methadone, though I’m sure there’s a minority of doctors that hold on to the stigma of, oh, you’re displacing one opiate with another which is ridiculous argument because we’re replacing it with a legal safe opiate. It doesn’t cause overdoses or crime and which reduces the overdose rate by 50%. But there are some it would disagree with that. But most would agree with it. Most would agree with not putting was putting a few patients new patients on high dose opiates as possible.

Doctors have been very slow to shift medical marijuana, they are slowly catching on. But it’s very interesting that doctors so far behind the general population and understanding the medical benefits. Part of it is because research has been prohibited in this country because it’s been classified under the controlled substance act as a schedule one substance. So it’s been virtually impossible to do research on the benefits of medical cannabis. And partially because this is whole industry in this country. multi billion dollar industry improving I call it the cannabis is evil industry and just studying a harm. So there’s just a steady drumbeat of these studies that purport to show how harmful cannabis is more money’s been spent trying to show how harmful cannabis is than any other substance on earth. And, you know, some of the studies show that there’s, you know, circumstances to be cautious about adolescents shouldn’t smoke pregnant woman shouldn’t smoke pot, obviously, people shouldn’t smoke for driving. But overall, it’s clearly safer than opiates, clearly safer than alcohol, clearly safer than tobacco. Um, I think that the doctors have to actually think for themselves on this issue and separate themselves from a lot of the misinformation and hysteria they’ve been bombarded with on this issue for their whole education. I mean, the medical textbooks that I read in medical school almost could have been taken verbatim from the movie reefer madness. They were so ridiculous. So we’re a lot of us are working on developing like a counter narrative with like, actual fact-based reality based education about medical cannabis for the medical community so that they actually can have educated you know, helpful answers when patients want to talk to them about it, because the doctors don’t know anything about it. Or if they just have a snooty dismissive attitude towards it. The patients are just going to go to other sources for their information, which are probably going to be very unreliable. So I think it’s absolutely critical that the medical profession educate themselves about medical cannabis immediately because it’s legal now in 30 states and the District of Columbia and millions of patients are on it. And a the patients have to feel comfortable telling their doctors are on it be the doctors have to know enough about it to know the interactive there other medication, there’s a couple of letting their their medications, what are the side effects and see the doctors can be really useful, use it as a tool as a very safe way to treat pain and other conditions like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, for example. So I think it’s urgent that the physicians educate themselves and catch up. But to go back to your question, would the other doctors agree with me, the doctors, many doctors agree many doctors are very much against it. In my experience, especially addiction doctors just have a mental block against it. And pain doctors, some of them are very against it, I think part of that because it interferes, you know, with their livelihood, because they like to do injections. But I think that generally speaking, the medical profession is slowly but surely heading in the right direction. And understanding that it is a very safe way to treat things.

Right. We look forward to medical students learning about it in medical schools at some point, I mean, most doctors have no familiarity with the fact that we have an endocannabinoid system, something like 16% of medical schools, they I mean, I’m sure that’s increasing, but they don’t even teach it in all medical schools. It’s a major huge comprehensive neurotransmitters system in the body. And the brain that controls or is involved with virtually every in her body.

Kannaboomers 19:04
I guess that won’t change overnight. But as you say, as we kind of develop on a counter narrative and do the PR war about getting this word out, we’ll go from 15% of medical students hearing about it to 4550. And eventually it’ll become a prevalent piece of knowledge.

Peter Grinspoon, M.D. 19:21
It’s interesting too, because if you look at support among for cannabis legalization medically, which is now at about 95%. But if you looked at it earlier, it was always hired, the younger the population is. And the same is true for recreational marijuana. It’s higher in younger groups. So I think that medical students being younger are going to be like demanding information about this. And I think the curriculums are going to change sooner rather than later. Because medical students are hungry for knowledge. And they’re going to be they’re growing up in this generation. So they’re not, they’re not tainted by all the brainwashing that our generation had. So I think that you’re going to be a lot more open minded and ready to receive more accurate that’s instead of fact based information about medical cannabis. So I think it’s going to change pretty quickly.

Kannaboomers 20:10
I hope it does accelerate. From a sort of pragmatic perspective as a doctor, how do you handle the dosing of cannabis? There’s vaping there’s edibles, flower and we know that different people we may react differently to different strains. It isn’t a an identical experience or dose. So how do you begin to properly dose when you’re prescribing?

Peter Grinspoon, M.D. 20:33
That’s one thing that is difficult. And it’s also one thing that I think does legitimately intimidate doctors from certifying patients is that we don’t give people a specific dose and we don’t have control over what they do. When I certify someone for medical marijuana, they’re later allowed to go into the store and buy whatever they want. So I can only make recommendations… that that is very challenging for physicians to challenging for me, because I just make recommendations and then they can go in and the bud tender the person who works at the dispensary who may or may not know what he or she is talking about can give them totally different advice. So that lack of control is a legitimate problem that I think physicians face in certifying patients. But I generally talk to patients about starting slow and going so it was like the lowest dose possible worst-case scenario, nothing will happen and you can try more the next day, more then next day to slowly get up for therapeutic effect without having any untoward side effects. I’m confident to try strains that are higher in CBD and THC because they tend to be less anxiety-provoking and get you less stoned, which most people don’t want.

I encourage people to vapor enough to smoke if they can afford to vaporize surface that’s obviously healthier. I give patients a very stern warning about edibles. Because edibles can be way too strong and it can be mislabeled. And people can have a really awful experiences. They take an edible, this too strong and the last forever, it could just be too high for 12 hours. So I say, if you’re going to do an edible to take the eighth of it and see what happens. And the next day to try more. I very much encourage people to keep journals of the different strains so that they could know what helps them someone’s using it for fibromyalgia, and they find that a particular strain doesn’t help they write that down. If they find that a different strain does help, they should write that down so that then they could eventually find what strain works best for their particular problem. And then just in terms of the dosing I start with micro-dosing very small like maybe two and a half milligrams really small because you don’t want side effects and of course warn people to store it safely so no one, no teenagers, no one else can find it and certainly not use it before driving or going to work because it is psychoactive unless of course they’re just using CBD. If it’s someone who’s very nervous about using medical marijuana often start them on pure CBD. And then you don’t have to worry nearly as much.

Kannaboomers 23:50
It sounds to me like what you’re describing it, you’re asking the patient to be a lot more self-aware typically than maybe the previous era where you would see you can say, OK, take this and we’ve resolved your acid reflux problem. But now it’s, you’re in a little more of a partnership with the patient and asking them to monitor and record and really kind of pay attention and take some responsibility on their own.

Peter Grinspoon, M.D. 24:15
No, that’s absolutely true. No, you know, as a primary care doctor, that’s basically what I do anyways, but you’re right. The partnership sort of extends out a little bit further from what I do, you know, the Partnership for Diabetes, we work together on the patient exercising, losing weight, keeping track of their sugars, and kicking, you know, 500 milligrams of Metformin. And here the partnership extends to them. Figuring out the analogy would be all the same things except them figuring out whether they need Metformin or insulin or another medication and then figuring out the exact dose to absolutely right, it’s still the partnership. But the patient has to take initiative and sort of figure out exactly what flavor of the medicine to take and what dose and then do that sort of autonomously. So you’re right, it is more it is more of a burden, it’s more takes a lot more initiative on the patient’s part, you’re a paternalistic and more more initiative and the patient’s part to really dig in and see what works, see what doesn’t work.

Kannaboomers 25:28
Do you see that as a positive? Oftentimes in the doctor-patient relationship, the patient comes in and gets a prescription and doesn’t really think that they have much responsibility. Maybe this changes that paradigm a little bit?

Peter Grinspoon, M.D. 25:42
First of all, I think it shouldn’t, for that might be part of why some doctors are having a little trouble with this, because it is a real paradigm shift. And we are used to saying you have high blood pressure, here’s 25 milligrams of hydrochloric side, as opposed to saying you have high blood pressure, here’s a certification go find a high blood pressure medication that you don’t have side effects for. So I could see that is a real change in paradigm for doctors. So it is more more difficult. Is it a good thing or bad thing? I know that I’m supposed to say it’s a good thing. And it’s great. The patients are involved in it, they’re more (engaged) and it gives them more control. In reality, I would say it’s a good thing for most patients. And for some patients, it’s not a good thing. It depends on the patient. Some people, as a primary care doctor for 25 years, I think it’s fair to say that some people are phenomenal at taking initiative and doing things for themselves and getting things done and are super-motivated and other people aren’t. So I think that some people would be better able to navigate the responsibility of doing all this and others would have trouble with it and others, other patients do a lot better. When the doctor says do this business, they can do that. And if the doctor doesn’t provide very explicit instructions there are lost so I would say it depends a lot on the patient. But overall, I think it’s freeing.

Kannaboomers 27:12
The more patients have a common conditions for which you may prescribe cannabis. Um, you know, we know its anti-inflammatory CBD can be might be useful for anxiety for PTSD. Certainly we know works as an anti-epileptic, there are entrenched interests for all these things that will need to be displaced. I mean, cannabis is not a panacea. It’s not going to solve every medical problem but it might clear out some things from people’s medicine cabinets right?

Peter Grinspoon, M.D. 27:40
Absolutely. Um. There’s a study out of Colorado when they legalized it recreationally, pharmaceuticals across the board shelter pharmaceuticals across the board went out you know and I think that you know, people need less Ambien because you have sleep, people need less Valium that helps with anxiety. I can totally see why that would be the case. And you know big pharma was one of the huge funders of the anti-marijuana initiatives across the country. Whenever it comes up for medical records from marijuana that one of the biggest funders is always big pharma because they don’t want the competition, exactly what you’re saying. So they do a lot of money… legs off so it just is very threatening to the pharmacology the pharmaceutical industry also at the same time very interested in pursuing different cannabinoids to research develop and market they just approved a version CV, which is the first time the US government has approved cannabis-based medicines a couple weeks ago. So you know, this kind of a sort of a double-edged sword in terms of the pharmaceutical industry, they’re very much opposed to candidates displacing a lot of their products.

Kannaboomers 29:20
If we shift gears back to the book for the next question. Um, there was a permissiveness in the 70s that maybe went away in the 80s and 90s, a certain tenor to the times might have made your whole experience unique in that you learned about all the drugs and you had a certain background and in a certain fearlessness in experimenting with them, I guess, especially with respect to cannabis.

Peter Grinspoon, M.D. 29:46
You know, first of all, I lost a brother to leukemia when I was eight. And cannabis was the only thing that allowed him to eat when you we can chemotherapy didn’t have a lot of the drugs they have now to help people so I suffers can that cannabis does for people medically, so it never was like an entirely bad thing. It was something that was associated with medical value like that I saw in my family when I think a little kid. Second of all, I saw really smart, educated people using it and having these like brilliant conversations. Like Carl Sagan was a good friend of my dad, the astronomer he’d be smoking and having these like absolutely brilliant, like mind-numbingly brilliant conversations that were completely inspiring about like the cosmos, and the universe and human evolution and life in other planets, or other parts the universe. And so like the most amazing conversations that when smoking, so I sort of saw that cannabis can have an upside was a downside, and then, you know, reading my Dad’s book, Marijuana Reconsidered, you know, my dad’s Dr. Lester Grinspoon, he was he’s considered to be the grandfather medical marijuana, because he published a book in 1971, and it was reviewed on the front page of the New York Times Book Review. And it really questioned a lot of the current thinking of marijuana and talked a lot about the cultural history and all the artists and musicians and great thinkers that have used it sort of, as a way to sort of enhance their creativity and their thinking. So, you know, I sort of had a counter narrative to the whole message that we were getting in the 1970s that cannabis is evil, cannabis is bad candidates is awful. So I sort of saw both sides of it. Um, you know, now, in retrospect, one side “just say no,” part of it was, you know, vastly exaggerated. But I saw both sides. And I think that that gave me a different perspective than like a lot of the other kids,

Kannaboomers 31:54
Your dad was sort of a voice in the wilderness. Back then there weren’t many people who were talking about the medicinal value and as you say, you know, from the White House on down it was ‘just say no,” so that’s interesting that you were in the household where this guy was making that case, and it sure wasn’t a popular case at the time.

Peter Grinspoon, M.D. 32:14
It was popular among a lot of people and unpopular among other people. It was sort of controversial I think, is the word I wouldn’t say unpopular.

Kannaboomers 32:24
Yeah, okay. The book was praised by a lot of people who were enlightened on the issue and criticized by the Richard Nixon drug war people so it was a sort of controversial position your Dad took. And now I mean, the the last few years it has, again, its accelerated, you know, to the point where we’re talking about it being taught in medical schools. Did you ever think that we’d reached this point, I mean, it took a while, but we’re finally kind of on the cusp of, of legitimacy?

Peter Grinspoon, M.D. 32:54
Well, he just turned 90, and he’s pretty old. But he, you know, he’ll be fighting for medical cannabis until his last breath. And he’s just, you know, so excited that this is happening, it really feels like the tide is turning, you know, there’s still obstacles, you have your, you know, Jeff Sessions of the world. But generally speaking, you know, when 94 or 95% of the American population is in favor of medical cannabis and Oklahoma’s voting to legalize medical cannabis, it just really seems like it’s gonna be very hard to turn back the clock on this one. And he just couldn’t be happier.

Kannaboomers 33:37
That’s great. The moment is, is almost here. And there’s been such a groundswell and people like you are at the forefront of it. And we’re no longer talking about outliers were there there’s a whole movement and as you say, a counter narrative, the tapping I want to mention that I’ve see on Twitter and you got a great Twitter game, and you’re helping tell the story there. There’s also a political dimension to this. I mean, we do talk about, you know, Nixon, Jeff Sessions and I talked to in my previous podcast to a guy working with the Veterans Cannabis Coalition, and he’s very accustomed to counting votes. And it’s an odd time though, I mean, we don’t know what the guy in the White House is going to do. He may just to piss off the Attorney General, he could make some arbitrary decision, he doesn’t know what he’s gonna do. How do you suggest that those of us boomers who are interested in supporting the cause, how do we get involved? How do we become advocates? How do we help support the counter narrative?

Peter Grinspoon, M.D. 34:31
That’s a good question. Um, you know, I think there are a lot of groups that are active, you know, NORML has local chapters, there are a lot of groups that are working to fight the drug war, like the Drug Policy Alliance, there are a lot of groups that are interested in criminal justice reform, because a big part of the marijuana legalization movement also is about criminal justice reform, as we still got hundreds of thousands of people rotting away in jail for these ridiculous marijuana offenses. So people keep getting involved in criminal justice reform. And I think education is a very, very big part of it. I mean, people can educate themselves and really spread the word. I mean, I think, you know, the pen is mightier than the sword. I think the more people can read, learn and be educated about this, the more I think the education spreads in that that there will be more credibility for the issue. I mean, we want to take it out of the status of like, proceed it being perceived as like a folk cure and more into the status of it being what sort of mainstream medical treatment and I think education is a very big part of it. I think people should be open and honest about it with their doctors. And I think people shouldn’t, you know, expect their doctors to know about it and learn about it. So I think people should really bring it up for their doctors. In fact, the doctors just have more conversations. I mean, in a way, you still need to be judicious because people do face drug tests at work. And can you safely you know, talk about cannabis usage, and that’s something that everybody has to decide. But I think we’re getting closer to the day where it’s, it’s a safe conversation. And certainly, rather than sitting on the sidelines, I think people need to think about how to advance this counter narrative again.

Kannaboomers 36:24
Absolutely. I totally agree. I want to mention your book is available at Amazon. com. It’s published by hatchet. Do we see it in bookstores too?

Peter Grinspoon, M.D. 36:32
Well, it’s been out for a little while I don’t think it’s in bookstores as much, but you can certainly find Free Refills on Amazon. And it is a you know, I think it’s very entertaining. Anybody who’s interested in the cannabis movement because it talks a lot about my Dad and me, and growing up in that household, which is entertaining and it also talks a lot about opiate addiction. And yeah, it’s easy to find on Amazon.

Kannaboomers 37:02
Do you have any other writing projects lined up because it’s you’re good at this.

Peter Grinspoon, M.D. 37:05
Thank you. Well, I do write blogs for Harvard health publications. I’m writing one on CBD. I just for one a physician burnout I write a bunch of them on opiates and I am working on a novel but that is a lot harder than anything I’ve done before

Kannaboomers 37:24
I knew that writing fiction is really difficult, I’ve found that out myself. We will definitely link to your blog in the show notes. Well that’s great it’s been a pleasure thanks for the great podcast.