Published by Harper Wave on October 4th 2016
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“The former editor-in-chief of Details and Star adventures into the fascinating “brave new world” of cannabis, tracing its history and possible future as he investigates the social, medical, legal, and cultural ramifications of this surprisingly versatile plant.
Pot. Weed. Grass. Mary Jane. We all think we know what cannabis is and what we use it for. But do we? Our collective understanding of this surprising plant has been muddled by politics and morality; what we think we know isnâ€™t the real story.
A war on cannabis has been waged in the United States since the early years of the twentieth century, yet in the past decade, society has undergone a massive shift in perspective that has allowed us to reconsider our beliefs. In Brave New Weed, Joe Dolce travels the globe to “tear down the cannabis closet” and de-mystify this new frontier, seeking answers to the questions we didnâ€™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. From the outlandish stories of murder trials where defendants claimed “insanity due to marijuana consumption” to the groundbreaking success stories about the plantâ€™s impressive medicinal benefits, Dolce paints a fresh and much-needed portrait of cannabis, our changing attitudes toward it, and the brave new direction science and cultural acceptance are leading us.
Enlightening, entertaining, and thought-provoking, Brave New Weed is a compelling read that will surprise and educate proponents on both sides of the cannabis debate.”
I knew nothing about marijuana.Â I’ve never smoked or eaten an edible.Â I wouldn’t have the first clue how to get any marijuana if I was interested.Â However, I am interested in the medical aspects of marijuana use.Â This is what I found most fascinating about this story.
The author had smoked in college but hadn’t used any in years.Â He wanted to investigate the claims on both the pro-legalization side and the prohibition side.Â He worked in medical dispensaries in states where it is legal.Â Different strains of marijuana have been bred to work better for different diseases.Â Some get rid of nausea.Â Other work better for pain.Â Others help calm anxiety.Â Some don’t produce a much of a high but help physical illnesses.Â A well trained dispensary staff can help patients determine what strains are best for them based on the chemical profiles of the particular plant and determine the best delivery mechanism for each patient – smoke, vaporize, eat, oils?
How did a plant that appears to have many benefits get to be so reviled?Â It doesn’t have a history of recorded deaths, like alcohol and tobacco.Â However it is a schedule I drug which means that it is considered to have no medicinal value.Â That puts it in the same class as heroin.
He covers the history of marijuana and the racial inequality that led to it being so problematic in the United States.Â He investigated what happened when other countries decriminalized possession.Â He talked to scientists to learn about the latest research in medical marijuana.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the history of the drug wars in the United States and the potential benefits of legalization.