Carl Sagan was one of the brilliant minds of the 20th century responsible for the original Cosmos TV series and inspiring an entire generation of scientists and seekers of knowledge like Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Sagan was also a closeted advocate for the legalization of cannabis. Due to the time period of his expirmentation with cannabis he kept his thoughts on the subject private for some time due to concerns it might effect his career negatively. But later in his life he spoke highly of his experiences with cannabis and even wrote a famous anonymous essay on the positive impacts cannabis had in his life. As a scientific mind Sagan often had trouble appreciating other aspects of life like art or even people or social situations he might disagree with. While consuming cannabis he found that not only did it allow him to perceive things from a different perspective but give more understanding to many aspects of life that he was able to hold onto long after the effects wore off. He goes on to explain that while high he was able to think deeply into his memories of the past and understand the significance of parts of his life on a different level. When it came to music and art he felt that he understood the intent of the artist much more and held onto after he was sober. His ability to hear more in depth into the music and decipher multiple parts of the harmonies Sagan also attributes to cannabis. He even spoke about cannabis enhancing his sex life. While Carl Sagan was considered a life long marijuana user, he never got to see the plant legalized and instead had to enjoy his enlightenment with cannabis in private.
In an essay written for the 1971 book Marihuana Reconsidered, Dr. Sagan, writing under the pseudonym "Mr. X" described his history of marijuana use and how he thought it had been a positive force in his life. He wrote under a false name out of fear that he would negatively impact his career and reputation by writing such an article, and it was only after his death that we found out that he had written this essay.
Original article: https://bigthink.com/mind-brain/carl-sagan-on-smoking-marijuana