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Peter Grinspoon, M.D.

Peter Grinspoon, M.D.Specialties: cannabis, opioids, addiction, recovery, psychedelics, physician health
Home base: Boston
Website: www.petergrinspoon.com
Twitter: @Peter_Grinspoon
LinkedIn: Peter Grinspoon M.D.

Peter Grinspoon, M.D., is a primary-care physician and cannabis specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a certified Health and Wellness Coach. A contributing editor to Harvard Health Publications as well as a TEDx speaker, he is the author of Seeing Through the Smoke: An Expert Doctor Untangles the Truth About Cannabis (Prometheus, April 2023), an unflinching examination at the grossly misunderstood drug that uses data-driven medical science and a critical historical perspective to reveal the truth behind cannabis.Seeing through the Smoke: A Cannabis Specialist Untangles the Truth about Marijuana, by Peter Grinspoon, MD, cover 

Regularly featured in the national press, Dr. Grinspoon is a popular speaker, internationally, on the topics of cannabis, psychedelics, addiction, opioids and physician health. He speaks to physicians, nurses and lay audiences alike. He is currently serving as a board member of the advocacy group Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, which works towards legalizing cannabis with an eye toward social justice issues. An authority on virtually all aspects of cannabis, including recreational and medical usages, as well as political issues and social history, Dr. Grinspoon has been involved with cannabis his entire career, after watching cannabis help his brother Danny in his unsuccessful fight against childhood leukemia. He has treated patients with, and counseled people on, cannabis for several decades. In the cannabis industry, he has served as an expert witness, as a consultant, and as a medical and scientific advisor.  

Dr. Grinspoon is a Contributing Editor to Harvard Health Publications, where his popular blogs are read by millions; his blog on CBD alone has more than 4 million page views. Openly in recovery from opioid addiction, he has been a national leader on the issue of physician health and has served as an Associate Director of the Massachusetts Physician Health Service, helping physicians with addiction and mental health issues. His memoir Free Refills: A Doctor Confronts His Addiction, published by Hachette Book Group, was optioned by MarVista Entertainment.  

Dr. Grinspoon is also a certified Physician Coach for the Massachusetts General Hospital Physician Center for Well-being, as well as a private coach. According to Dr. Grinspoon, “Having clawed my way back from a crippling opiate addiction in the mid-2000s, I understand what it is to be down, to lose everything, to struggle, and to reinvent oneself. I directly apply this hard-won understanding to my coaching practice. I feel that there is a great overlap between the tools we utilize in transitioning from ‘addicted’ to ‘recovered’ with the skills we apply in coaching. I’m a huge believer in the idea that we can take control of our lives, that we can grow and change, and that we can design the future that we want for ourselves.”

After graduating with an M.A. in Philosophy with honors from Swarthmore College, Dr. Grinspoon then spent five years as a Campaign Director for the environmental group Greenpeace before entering medical school at Boston University School of Medicine, where he graduated with honors. He completed his residency in 2000 at Harvard’s Brigham and Woman’s Hospital and has been employed at Harvard-affiliated hospitals ever since. He has been interviewed for national media outlets, including NBC, C-SPAN, Fox and Friends, Good Morning America, MSNBC and The Daily Show, discussing issues ranging from cannabis to the opioid crisis; and NPR: All Things Considered, People magazine, The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, Men's Health and New York Magazine. His writing has been published in The Nation, The Los Angeles Times, The Narrative Inquiry In Bioethics and The Psychiatric Times.

Suggested Topics

  • Cannabis: Popular topics include medical cannabis in the elderly, cannabis and harm reduction, cannabis and the opioid crisis and medical cannabis 101 for doctors or nurses.
  • Addiction: I come at this issue from all angles, having barely survived an opioid addiction, and as someone who treats doctors and patients for addiction. I have a unique perspective on the opioid crisis and on our urgent need to end the War on Drugs and to start treating people who suffer from addiction with compassion and science.
  • Psychedelics: I have been following the “psychedelic renaissance” since age 13 and have a lifelong interest in psychedelic therapies, as well as lived experience. I discuss the mechanism and evidence for current psychedelic therapies.
  • Physician Health: I have given grand rounds on this topic at numerous institutions, based on my experiences as a physician in recovery and as an Associate Director of the Physician Health Service in Massachusetts, who has treated hundreds of physicians.

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