High-Minded Reads

The Literary Stoner: Bringing Weed to Your Reads

Crime-fighting cannabis and budding business—a visiting author takes on the new politics of pot (plus three more reads to get you rolling).

By Ramona DeNies April 23, 2015

Weed the People author Bruce Barcott reads at Powell's this Monday.

4/20 has come and gone, but registration for the 2015 Cannabis Creative Conference has just begun.

The “meeting of the minds” gathers potrepreneurs and weedies at the Portland Expo Center on July 29–30 to prep for the January implementation of Oregon Measure 91. 

What will legal chronic mean for Oregon? Visiting author Bruce Barcott might have a few thoughts. The former Seattle Weekly editor's new book Weed the People hit shelves this monthhear what he thinks pot-positive Washington State and Colorado can teach us at Powell's on Monday.

Then, we sugest you back up that canna-do attitude with even more book larnin’. The sweet summer reads below will get you rolling.

FOUR High-minded reads:

Weed the People: the Future of Legal Marijuana
By Bruce Barcott (2015, Time Home)
Washington State’s Initiative 502 and Colorado's Article 18 are test cases for Bruce Barcott’s premise: that legalizing recreational marijuana use can lower crime rates and generate tidy profits for budding businessfolk. In his new book, Weed the People: the Future of Legal Marijuana, the former Seattle Weekly editor follows private equity investors and longtime growers in what Bloomberg calls "a love letter to cannabis capitalism."

Bruce Barcott
Monday, Apr 27 at 7:30 pm, Powell’s City of Books

Joint Ventures: Inside America’s Almost Legal Marijuana Industry 
By Trish Regan (2011, John Wiley and Sons)
The former CNBC and Bloomberg anchor (now at Fox) is known for investigations that follow the money for some of the world’s most dangerous and controversial operations—terrorism, smuggling, cocaine, Enron, the Alberta tar sands. In Joint Ventures, the Emmy-winning journalist (and one-time Miss America contestant) trains her eye on the labyrinthine state and federal laws that aim to control an underground industry that literally carpets our nation.

Hemp Bound: Dispatches for the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution 
By Doug Fine (2014, Chelsea Green)
What’s so great about hemp? Well, its strong fiber, nutritious oil, and wide-ranging industrial applications (Hempcrete? Car batteries?). Plus, it’s as American as Thomas Jefferson, who used hemp paper to draft the Declaration of Independence. The wonder plant has long suffered ignominy alongside its trippy cousin Bud, but a new bipartisan movement (led by, among others, our own Earl Blumenauer and Kurt Schrader) aims to end a federal ban on cultivating hemp. The very funny Fine—author of Farewell, My Subaru and Too High to Fail—looks to new uses for an ancient crop.

Cannabis: A History
By Martin Booth (2003, Picador)
From Publishers Weekly: “What do Napoleon’s troops, Asian cooking, Armani jeans, the Gutenberg Bible and the Parke-Davis pharmaceutical company have in common?” Cannabinoids, of course! Travel from the Neolithic age through ancient Rome to the swinging Sixties with the late, great Martin Booth (a poet and Booker Prize wining novelist known for A Very Private Gentleman—adapted for the 2010 film The American). Because, man, you can’t know where you’re going till you know where you’ve been.

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