Pro to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"
"The demonization of cannabis is as much a matter of luck, and timing, as anything more intrinsic. Its coevals alcohol and nicotine - both bearing their own drawbacks - remain legal (even if those who would deny adults the choice of their own lifestyles, injurious or otherwise, campaign hard against them). For several reasons, many of them outright racist, cannabis drew the short straw. But losing one more variety of personal recreation is of secondary importance. Until 1937 when America instituted its prohibition, cannabis was among the most widely used, and unarguably proven medicines in the Western pharmacopoeia. To outlaw so efficacious a treatment was, there is no milder world, a sin.
I smoked my first joint in 1966. I am still smoking, though less now, and in a pipe rather than mixed with tobacco. I prefer, as I have always done, hashish to marijuana. Contrary to the scare propaganda which alleges these problems, I have found cannabis neither anti-motivational, destructive of relationships, nor injurious to my memory. I have written or compiled fifty-plus books, lived with one partner for more than 25 years and I write dictionaries, a task that is particularly demanding of what one might term the 'mental filing cabinet.'"
Them: Voices from the Immigrant Community in Contemporary Britain, 1990
Days in the Life: Voices from the English Underground 1961-1971, 1988
Newspeak: A Dictionary of Jargon, 1983
Born April 20, 1948 in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, UK
Primarily works in the collection and analysis of slang
"I write dictionarioes of slang. It is what I have done for 30 years and what I intend to do, audience and body willing until on some unspecified day I crash forward into the keyboard – or whatever equivalent technology throws up in its place. ‘Retirement’ is not a term in any of my dictionaries.
What I do is to sit alone in a room with a screen in front of me, a book more than likely to my left, held open by the weight of a discarded piece of chain, and within reach walls full of more books which are not just books but also tools and at the same time both extensions of and bastions for my existence. Some of them I have even made myself. With this screen and books and book-shaped tools I chase down words. And by placing these words in alphabetical order and by naming and defining and providing a word-based background for their existence and more words that illustrate examples of their use I create yet another book which is designated more than any other type to be a tool in its turn. A work of reference, which is based in hard work and scholarship and even a degree of serendipity and which, while it can never be perfect let alone completed, still aims to provide information which at its best and must utile is both trustworthy and authoritative."
"Confessions of a Lexicographer," thedabbler.co.uk, May 12, 2011