Smoke Signals

Smoke Signals

A Social History of Marijuana : Medical, Recreational, and Scientific

Book - 2012
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Investigative journalist Martin A. Lee traces the social history of marijuana from its origins to its emergence in the 1960s as a defining force in an ongoing culture war. Lee describes how the illicit marijuana subculture overcame government opposition and morphed into a multibillion-dollar industry. In 1996, Californians voted to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. Similar laws have followed in several other states, but not without antagonistic responses from federal, state, and local law enforcement. Lee draws attention to underreported scientific breakthroughs that are reshaping the therapeutic landscape: medical researchers have developed promising treatments for cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's, diabetes, chronic pain, and many other conditions that are beyond the reach of conventional cures. This is a fascinating read for recreational users and patients, students and doctors, musicians and accountants, Baby Boomers and their kids, and anyone who has ever wondered about the secret life of this ubiquitous herb.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2012
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781439102602
Branch Call Number: 362.29509 L5142S 2012
Characteristics: vii, 519 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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The research on the history and science of Cannabis is well done in this tome. It is a long read, but well worth the time. It actually made me disturbed about the nature of what our government has done in relation to the making of laws about this and many other things. Well worth the time to read and it will definitely engender deep thought on the subject. It is good when such "evils" are brought into the light of day and exposed for what they actually are instead of the twisted myths that have become such a part of popular culture. Anything that makes us look at how we are being governed and reassessing our views in the light of science and modern information is good for us and can only be good for our nation.

Oct 10, 2016

I found this to be an excellent book covering many aspects of the history of cannabis.

Sep 21, 2012

This book is useful in several ways:

1) It gives an excellent history of what can only be called the national persecution of cannabis users, including users with very legitimate medical needs.

2) It summarizes the findings of numerous official commissions in the U.K., Canada, and the U.S., all of which concluded that cannabis was not a serious threat either to society or public health, and recommended decriminalization, but that were simply ignored for political/cultural reasons.

3) It debunks the false science used to try to justify continued maintenance of draconian laws that have made the U.S. #1 in the world in its rate of incarceration.

On the other hand, the book suffers from obvious bias. Lee is an unabashed cannabis booster, and cannot refrain from arguing that cannabis is a miracle drug that can cure everything from cancer to Alzheimer's disease. Lee debunks false science, but dishes up plenty of his own in support of his favorite treat.


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