I know you’ll laugh, but this is actually a science topic presented by a very effective communicator. Hollywood special effects veteran, and my old buddy, Mike Backes gives you the scoop on dope.

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WEED: I’m not any sort of pot crusader, but this is an excellent conversation packed full of details on a fascinating subject.

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What a long, strange trip it’s been. A couple weeks ago I did a television interview for a show in which they were talking about people who had pulled off successful mid-career changes. They kept drilling me about whether it was worth it to change careers. All I could say was “you betcha.” It’s been truly fun and truly fascinating. And here’s one of my fondest memories — my friend Mike Backes who guided me during the most important parts of the journey, including steering me into the crazy acting class that formed the core of my¬†book.

I met Mike in 1992 when he was Michael Crichton’s writing partner. We’re the same age, he has an undergrad degree in biology, is incredibly funny, incredibly smart, won a national pingpong championship in his youth, wrote the screenplay for Crichton’s movie, “Rising Sun,” played a major role in the special effects on “Jurassic Park,” and we became good buddies.

Over the years he developed an interest in medical marijuana and now, given his sharp science mind, he is a major expert and resource on the subject. Which makes you chuckle at first, but if you watch this video and get beyond the stoner culture to accepting that marijuana is a gargantuan industry in this country, and as he says, it is used ALWAYS in a medicinal way … I think you’ll find what he has to say interesting.

I’m not a big stoner (though I did eat a pot brownie recently at a Prince concert and visited outer space for a while), but I’m increasingly interested in public health issues, and given the enormity of the industry, this is without a doubt one of the biggest. What I found really fascinating was his comments about the international agreement on narcotics that prevents this country from ever legalizing marijuana.