Everybody seems to want to get into the pot business. Some might say, this is the golden era for marijuana. As laws loosen up and more and more people come out of the closet regarding their weed addiction, we are witnessing a sea change in the public’s perception of this miracle herb. It makes sense, therefore, to look at what is going on through the lens of history.
It is important to do so just so we appreciate the long road that has been traversed by countless people much braver than us. There have been countless sacrifices in the form of long jail sentences, ruined families, and the devastation of entire communities (especially minorities) that beg to be studied. We usually don’t bring about serious issues on this blog but we feel our audience should be given the chance to take a breath and just take in the satisfaction of being alive during this point in history.
So, we decided to do something different for today’s list of books and showcase the volumes of true historical stories that dot the checkered history of marijuana in the United States. These books might contain tales that are familiar to some but might evoke audible gasps and shocks from some of the readers who are unaware of all that been lost along the way. We don’t want to say it’s all doom and gloom. You might find some things to latch on to when you are done with these books. Either way, you will end up learning some valuable lessons and hopefully grow to appreciate the next joint you roll up from the comfort of your couch.
This book has been written by Martin Lee, an award-winning investigative journalist. He dives into the murky legality of marijuana and how it has affected its perception with regards to science and use for recreation. The writer is the co-founder of the media watch group FAIR and the director of Project CBD, a medical science information service. This is a journalistic piece that goes into the nitty-gritty of the marijuana trade. According to a review by Jacob Sullum, “it examines how marijuana came to have its reputation thanks to historical accident, racial prejudice, xenophobia, loads of cultural baggage, and an astonishing amount of ignorance.”
In this book historian Emily Dufton tells the remarkable story of marijuana’s crooked path from acceptance to demonization and back again, and of the thousands of grassroots activists who made changing marijuana laws their life’s work. It tells the story of the 1970s pro-pot campaigners and the reaction by the government under the influence of Nancy Reagan’s war on drugs. It goes on to explain how switching to marijuana’s medicinal benefits changed the narrative. It compares the old times to the current zeitgeist and explains how everything can fall back down if people stop paying attention.
In 1996 California passed the nation’s first medical marijuana law, which allowed patients to grow it and use it with a doctor’s permission. By 2010, twenty states and the District of Columbia had adopted medical pot laws. In 2012 Colorado and Washington state passed ballot measures legalizing marijuana for adults age 21 and older. This book tracks how all the dominos fell in the right order to topple the biggest hurdle to the future of marijuana – public perception. This book asks questions about where the industry is heading and how accepted marijuana can get in today’s culture. It takes a peek into the future into hypothetical scenarios asking the reader to think for themselves. The author, Bruce Barcott, a former Guggenheim Fellow in nonfiction, is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, Rolling Stone, National Geographic
In Brave New Weed, Joe Dolce, the author and former editor in chief for Details and Star, travels the globe to “tear down the cannabis closet” and de-mystify this new frontier, seeking answers to the questions we didn’t know we should ask. Dolce heads to a host of places, including Amsterdam, Israel, California, and Colorado, where he skillfully unfolds the odd, shocking, and wildly funny history of this complex plant. The book is chockful of anecdotes that will entertain and also educate the reader about the perception of the plant around the world and then presents it in stark contrast to its reception in the United States.
This book turns its focus on medicinal marijuana. It details a compelling case for cannabis as a wellness catalyst that must be legalized. The author of this book is Steve DeAngelo, the founder of Harborside Health Center, the world’s largest medical-cannabis dispensary. Though we don’t usually recommend books with such a huge conflict of interest, the book works well to provide detailed and convincing points to make its case. The book answers essential questions about the plant, using extensive research to fuel a thoughtful discussion about cannabis science and law, as well as its biological, mental, and spiritual effects on human beings
So those were the best books on marijuana history that we were able to find on Amazon. They are not all light reads. Some might spark deep introspection. Some might serve to educate rather than entertain. They might contain facts that let you bolster your argument, the next time that you are having a debate with someone who is not a fan of this miracle plant. That is exactly the point of capturing those facts in this moment of history. We hope these books spark discussion and let people make up their own minds on the topic. Hopefully, these books will also make you thankful for the trailblazers that came before you. It helps to keep their voices in the back of your mind, as reminders of the battles that they have fought, for your privilege.