A journalist turned “ganjapreneur” examines America’s schizophrenic attitude toward marijuana.
A few years ago, after the Obama administration indicated that it wasn’t interested in busting medical marijuana growers around the country, pot enthusiasts in Colorado rejoiced. That joy was short-lived, however, as the authorities later suggested that the era of worry-free toking was greatly exaggerated—even for state-sanctioned dispensaries in that state. Campbell (Blood Diamonds: Tracing the Deadly Path of the World's Most Precious Stones, 2002, etc.) recounts the ensuing panic and the long history of oppressive U.S. drug policy toward marijuana. Amid the careful research rich in salient statistics and telling case studies, the author presents moving personal histories of people whose only crime was trying to relieve their own chronic pain or help out a sick friend. The author juxtaposes these stories with those of his often-hilarious adventures in at-home marijuana cultivation. His angst is palpable as he spends sleepless nights worrying that the noxious odors exuding from his basement “farmhouse” will finally tip off the neighbors and that the next knock on the door will be a helmeted SWAT team with an arrest warrant. Because of these personal experiences, Campbell is able to provide invaluable insight into what medical marijuana growers in the United States endure each day. The hypocrisy throughout is evident, but, writes the author, Drug Enforcement Agency honchos remain true believers, convinced, despite ample evidence to the contrary, that marijuana is truly the devil’s weed. Campbell’s tireless digging, both physically and figuratively, provides a treasure-trove of information that can only encourage intelligent debate over the future of marijuana prohibition.
Rigorous analysis buoyed by a deep sense of humanity.