High but not dry
Engaging new book about marijuana avoids the dullness trap
Published: August 22, 2012
For the most part, this is a lively and informative book. Readers get to know details from a couple of the handful of patients who do receive 300 U.S. government-grown medical marijuana joints a month (that seems like an awful lot, especially given that the official policy states there is no medical use for the substance), groove with the Grateful Dead and wander the hills of California's Emerald Triangle, where much of the state's marijuana is grown. More than anything else, you find that Lee's closing words ring true: "To ponder the history of marijuana in America is to embark upon a political landscape so illogical as to be perverse, a world where facts don't count and common sense is ignored."
Smoke Signals cuts through the haze to distinguish what's really there — from the hemp hyping in Thomas Paine's own Common Sense, to the experience of contemporary medical patients who know the relief of marijuana.
This November, folks in Detroit will be voting on decriminalization of possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana for adults 21 and older. But that's not the only pot issue for state polls this year. Voters in Flint will decide on the same question for those 19 and older. In Kalamazoo, they will decide on whether to allow three medical marijuana dispensaries to locate in the city. In Ypsilanti, they will vote on an amendment to the city charter that would make possession and use of less than 1 ounce of marijuana a Lowest Law Enforcement Priority. Maybe the state of Michigan will add another chapter in the annals of marijuana activism.
Larry Gabriel is a writer, musician and former editor of Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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