From Reefer Madness to legal purchase at the corner store
With long-time legal and social barriers to marijuana falling across much of the United States, the time has come for an accessible and informative look at attitudes toward the dried byproduct of Cannabis sativa. Marijuana: A Short History profiles the politics and policies concerning the five-leaf plant in the United States and around the world.
Millions of Americans have used marijuana at some point in their lives, yet it remains a substance shrouded by myth, misinformation, and mystery. And nearly a century of prohibition has created an enforcement system that is racist, and the continuing effects of racially-targeted over criminalization limit economic and social opportunities in communities of color. Marijuana: A Short History tells this story, and that of states stepping up to enact change. This book offers an up-to-date, cutting-edge look at how a plant with a tumultuous history has emerged from the shadows of counterculture and illegality. Today, marijuana has become a remarkable social, economic, and even political forcewith a surprising range of advocates and opponents.
Over the past two decades marijuana policy has transformed dramatically in the United States, as dozens of states have openly defied the federal government. Marijuana: A Short History provides a brief yet compelling narrative that discusses the social and cultural history of marijuana but also tells us how a once-vilified plant has been transformed into a serious, even mainstream, public policy issue. Focusing on politics, the media, government, racism, criminal justice, and education, the book describes why public policy has changed, and what that change might mean for marijuana's future place in society.
Part I: A Weed by Any Other Name
1. Cannabis as Plant and Product
Part II: The Government Steps In
2. Early Regulation and a New (Drug) Deal
3. Marijuana as an Enemy, Foreign and Domestic
4. Richard Nixon Fires the Opening Shots in the War on Drugs
5. Prosecuting the War on Drugs
6. Ronald Reagan Opens New Theaters in the War on Drugs
Part III: Pot, the Public, and the Powerful
7. Demographics and Death Reshape Views on Marijuana
8. Cannabis Use as a Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous
Part IV: Marijuana Reform Blossoms into Public Policy
9. Decriminalization as the First Retreat from Prohibition
10. Ganja Gridlock: The Failures of Federal Reform
11. The Fight for Medical Marijuana
12. Recreational Marijuana Sprouts in the West
Part V: The Future of Marijuana
13. Racial Justice and the Future of Marijuana Reform
14. Weighing the Costs and Benefits of Legalization