Former 1st Lady of Vanderbilt opens up about marijuana use

Former 1st Lady of Vanderbilt opens up about marijuana use (Image 1)

In her new book, the ex-wife of Vanderbilt University's former president writes about how she used marijuana for medical purposes while living in the university's mansion.

Constance Gee suffers from Meniere's disease, which is a debilitating disorder of the inner ear.

A long time supporter of medical marijuana, Constance said the drug helped relieve her nausea, which is often a symptom of the disease.

“I took a couple puffs and the nausea, just oh, melted away,” she said.

Constance told Nashville's News 2 her now ex-husband, Gordon Gee who served as Chancellor of Vanderbilt University from 2001 to 2007, was not supportive of her using the drug.

“He did not want to know about it,” she said, adding, “He was very opposed to it, so it was sort of a ‘Don't ask, don't tell' sort of arrangement.”

In her new memoir, Higher Education: Marijuana at the Mansion, Constance said she became an accidental advocate for the drug after a 2006 Wall Street Journal article outed her use.

The former professor said she was furious at Vanderbilt school officials and felt exposed and unprotected after the story was printed.

“I harbored some resentment toward Vanderbilt for the way they handled it,” she said. “I felt like I was thrown under a bus.”

Constance also said the report in part led to her divorce from Gordon.

“After the Wall Street Journal and all of the fallout, we just didn't have the reservoir of commitment and love at that point to survive it,” she said.

Since her divorce Constance spends her time advocating the legalization of medical marijuana.

“Really the only way we can move forward in this country that's sane and makes any sense is to legalize marijuana and to regulate it and tax it as we do alcohol and tobacco, which by the way are much more dangerous drugs,” she said.

Constance left her job professor's job at Vanderbilt in 2010 so she could dedicate more time to her advocacy work.

Gordan Gee is now the president of Ohio State University.

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