NEW YORK: Two-legged or four-legged, some guinea pigs have more fun than others.
Among the human variety, Dr. John Clendinning and Dr. David Casarett might be considered particularly fortunate. Back in 1843 Dr. Clendinning, a London physician and bad insomniac, reported on his personal experiences with various sleep-inducing substances. The clear winner was a tincture of marijuana, which brought him a good night’s sleep with none of what he termed opium’s “inconveniences.”
Now Dr. Casarett, a physician at the University of Pennsylvania, has assumed the Clendinning mantle, selflessly immersing himself in the culture, science and, yes, smoke of medical marijuana in order to unravel and report back on the truth behind the buzz.
Despite the book’s title, Dr. Casarett writes more as a doctor than as a stoner in “Stoned” — and let the record show he threw a particularly delectable brownie in an airport trash can rather than risk interstate transport problems. He delivers a readable, absorbing and informative account, laudably minimizing the yucks and emphasizing the science, or as least as much as the data allow. (Read an excerpt.)