A journey through the “brave new—and yet at the same time, ancient—world” of weed.
The former editor of Details and Star magazines and founder and CEO of a media training company in New York, Dolce ends his author bio by stating he is “not a stoner,” and the final chapter describes how he made it through a month without weed relatively painlessly (though his alcohol consumption increased markedly). The rest of the book suggests that he is a staunch advocate for the medicinal and recreational uses of cannabis. Dolce makes a convincing case that marijuana should not be classified as a Schedule 1 drug—a drug with the highest potential for abuse—and argues that it would be much easier to conduct scientific tests of the drug if it were reclassified. He discusses the workings of the two key chemical compounds of the drug, THC and CBD, and suggests that growers in the last few decades have been selectively breeding for THC, which makes the experience of getting high a less mellow one. Now that marijuana is legal in several states, however, growers are reformulating their product to achieve various ends. The author’s travels took him to Amsterdam, which he found disappointingly old-fashioned; Israel, which “has twenty thousand human subjects participating in the world’s largest state-run medical cannabis program”; Northern California, where a medical marijuana club meets at a senior community center; and Colorado, where “budtenders” at dispensaries educate their customers on “the contrast between great and average marijuana.” In an appendix, Dolce clearly sums up his advice for potential consumers, including tips on “cannabis for inspiration, intimacy, and other adult pleasures” and directives regarding inhalation methods, edibles, and sharing etiquette.
While the book is best taken with a certain amount of skepticism, it offers an entertaining and informative overview of the latest changes in cannabis production and consumption.