BOOK REVIEW: Bruce Barcott, Weed the People (2015)

I have spent more than two years on this blog lobbying for people to see cannabis as a plant instead of a drug. That’s why I was delirious with joy when I read the following realization that journalist Bruce Barcott had during a talk with a grower for his recent book Weed the People: “IContinue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Bruce Barcott, Weed the People (2015)”

Mapping Cannabis Cultivation in California, 1900-1960

Thanks to a plethora of books, articles, documentaries, and TV and radio stories, many people across the country know Northern California as the hotbed of cannabis agriculture in the Golden State. Today, the region is home to an estimated 30,000 grow sites. But before the Back-to-the-Landers seeded a revolution in the redwood-covered hills during theContinue reading “Mapping Cannabis Cultivation in California, 1900-1960”

Modern Day Reefer Madness: After shootout, Louisiana sheriff claims legal pot will bring "insurmountable havoc," totally forgets about the gun thing

Just listen to Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand\’s epic anti-cannabis rant, given at a press conference two days after his deputies gunned down an armed pot dealer in a shootout on the streets of New Orleans: http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1 For those of you too lazy to watch, Normand is incensed that the media is bothering to inquireContinue reading “Modern Day Reefer Madness: After shootout, Louisiana sheriff claims legal pot will bring "insurmountable havoc," totally forgets about the gun thing”

Mapping Cannabis Cultivation Across the American West, c. 1895-1950

Each pin on the following map represents an instance of drug cannabis (Cannabis indica) cultivation in the American West between 1895 and 1950, based on evidence collected from dozens of contemporary newspaper reports. The pins are color-coded according to decade, with instances before 1900 marked by brown pins, 1900-1910 by red, 1910s by yellow, 1920sContinue reading “Mapping Cannabis Cultivation Across the American West, c. 1895-1950”

BOOK REVIEW: Chris S. Duvall, "Cannabis" (2015)

Clearly written, comprehensive, and rigorously researched, Chris Duvall\’s Cannabis (London: Reaktion Books, 2015) is a superb, easily digestable crash course on the history of the remarkably diverse human-Cannabis relationship. As one of the few true scholarly histories of the cannabis plant produced in the last decade, Cannabisclarifies or refutes many of the widely accepted claimsContinue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Chris S. Duvall, "Cannabis" (2015)”

Project Outline

Historical Importance of Cannabis To date, few professional historians have told the history of Cannabis indica, the plant commonly known as the drug marijuana. Journalists, legal scholars, and amateur historians have written plenty of decent Cannabis histories, but professional historians seem unwilling to acknowledge it as a legitimate research topic. This is mostly because prohibition has built up a powerfulContinue reading “Project Outline”

Pumping the Presidents with Pot: A New February Tradition

Happy Presidents Day! As many of us get a Monday off in honor of the country\’s most esteemed caretakers (or maybe because we live somewhere in the one-half of the country that is currently being blanketed by snow and/or ice), some members of the pro-cannabis crowd take Presidents Day as an opportunity to remind AmericansContinue reading “Pumping the Presidents with Pot: A New February Tradition”

Moving on from “Marijuana:” Why Names and Plants Matter in the Age of Cannabis Legalization

Marijuana. Everyone in America knows this word, regardless of how they feel about the offerings of the cannabis plant. But its roots in this country stretch back to a time that very few of us are still familiar with—a time when the drug was widely considered to be as harmful and addictive as opium, andContinue reading “Moving on from “Marijuana:” Why Names and Plants Matter in the Age of Cannabis Legalization”

Cannabis in the Cornfields: Then and Now

Cannabis is grown in cornfields all over the United States. This plant was found in an Indiana cornfield. In August 2006, clad in safety gear that protected her from the scraping stalks, Wisconsin ecologist Kaitlin Whitney was collecting ecological data in one of the Dairy State\’s numerous cornfields when she came upon five marijuana plantsContinue reading “Cannabis in the Cornfields: Then and Now”

Did you know joints were sold legally in the US in the 1870s? Neither did I.

Yesterday I stumbled across this ad for Grimault & Co.\’s \”Indian Cigarettes\” in an 1876 edition of the Daily Argus in Rock Island, Ill. I was aware that, during the nineteenth century, Cannabis indica was used in a variety of remedies and carried in pharmacies across the nation. But I had never heard of anyoneContinue reading “Did you know joints were sold legally in the US in the 1870s? Neither did I.”