Last updated on: 9/14/2011 | Author:

Martin Booth Biography

Novelist, Poet, and Teacher
Pro to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"

“The dilemma facing legislators and medical practioners concerning the pros and cons of permitting the medicinal use of natural herbal cannabis (as medicinal marijuana is often referred to) is really quite simple… [T]here appears to be a Puritanism concerning the use of cannabis in medicine, a reluctance to use it in case it leads to intoxication and a psycho-active reaction. This objection seems irrational… [I]f someone is in pain and depressed, living a miserable life because of pain, why should[n’t] medicine that made them happier be proscribed… [A]nti-depressants like Prozac are prescribed almost with abandon and yet they are also mind-altering drugs with a risk of severe side effects. Marijuana has few contra-indications and yet it is prohibited…

Regardless of its therapeutic potential, there is reluctance amongst some doctors and patients to use herbal cannabis yet this is often based upon ignorance of the subject. Whilst prolonged smoking might do respiratory harm (as would inhaling any fine particles), it is accepted that cannabis is far safer than most drugs. Overdosing on it, the worry some doctors have because it is hard to assess the potency of one sample over another, is virtually impossible. Cannabis has a lethal-to-effective dose ratio of 40,000 to 1. For aspirin, for example, the ratio is 10 to 1.”

Cannabis: A History, 2003

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Head of English, Castle School (England), 1968-1985
  • Founder and Publisher, Sceptre Press, 1968-1981
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, 1980
  • Fellow Commoner of Corpus Christi (England), 1980
  • Fellow Commoner of St Peter’s College (England), 1972
  • Gregory Award, Society of Authors, 1971
  • Certificate of Education, Trent Park College of Education (England), dates unknown
  • Born in Ribchester, England on Sep. 7, 1944
  • Died in Stoodleigh, England on Feb. 12, 2004
  • Enjoyed recreational big-game hunting
  • Lived in Hong Kong and Kenya for most of his childhood
  • The American, a 2010 film starring George Clooney, was based on his novel A Very Private Gentleman.