Constance Gee will be on a panel at the NORML conference in Los Angeles later this week. It was good to see that her Meniere’s disease —an inner-ear problem that can be totally disabling— has been held at bay and that she is telling her story. In 2006, when Constance was married to Gordon Gee, the chancellor of Vanderbilt University, she acknowledged that she was medicating somewhat successfully with marijuana. It was a scandal in Nashville. The Tennessean quoted a nationally renowned Meniere’s expert who said he’d never heard of anyone treating the disorder with marijuana (as if confirming that she was a stoner). She accepted a reprimand from the university. The marriage ended in 2007 and the husband —a world-class fundraiser— left Vandy to take the helm at Ohio State. Constance remained as a professor in the art department. In 2010, when a medical marijuana bill was introduced in the Tennessee legislature, she testified in support of it. She is about to publish a memoir, Higher Education: Marijuana at the Mansion, “a story of power, politics, and just plain bad manners at the uppermost echelons of university life, as told by the former first lady of three major American universities.”
The original brouhaha was written up in O’Shaughnessy’s to illustrate Dr. Hergenrather’s point that Cannabis specialists have expertise —significant clinical knowledge—exceeding most doctors’. By an odd coincidence, the woman in the graphic on that page is just as red-haired and slender as Constance Gee —but it’s Lynne “Geo” Barnes, a Prop 215 campaign staffer.