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“Hallelujah and glory be to Smoke Signals, Martin Lee’s bodacious new book…Lee chronicles everything and everyone worth chronicling in the annals of marijuana” (High Times).
This is the great American pot story, a dramatic social exploration of a plant that sits at the nexus of political, legal, medical, and scientific discourse. From its ancient origins, to its cutting-edge therapeutic benefits, to its role in a culture war that has never ceased, marijuana has evolved beyond its own illicit subculture into a dynamic, multibillion-dollar industry. Since 1996, when California voters approved Proposition 215, dozens of state and local governments across the country have circumvented federal authority to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. Mining the plant’s rich botanical properties, medical researchers are now developing promising marijuana-based treatments for cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, chronic pain, and many other conditions. Martin Lee, an award-winning investigative journalist, examines this complex landscape where legal ambiguity meets scientific breakthrough in a panoramic, character-driven saga.
About the Author
Martin A. Lee is the author of four books, including most recently Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational and Scientific. He is the cofounder of the media watch group FAIR and the director of Project CBD, a medical science information service. He is also the author of Acid Dreams and The Beast Reawakens, and his writing has appeared in many publications, including The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Harper’s Magazine, Le Monde Diplomatique, Rolling Stone, The Nation, Salon.com, HuffingtonPost.com, and TheDailyBeast.com.
“Smoke Signals is an important, serious-minded look at the role cannabis has played in American history. He tackles the hard issues of marijuana prohibition with keen insight and righteous indignation. I agree with Lee’s central premise that our marijuana laws are draconian. Every American should read this landmark book!”
— Douglas Brinkley, Professor of History at Rice University and author of Cronkite
"A ripping read, thoroughly researched, Smoke Signals will help inform the current debate and hopefully hasten the demise of prohibition." —David Bronner, CEO, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps
"[A] well-reasoned, entertainingly written, and passionate examination of the social and culture war that surrounds the drug."—Booklist
"In this accessible and well-researched analysis, Lee offers a cultural reckoning of cannabis in its many incarnations, spanning from its first recorded utilization in 2700 B.C.E. to the present...a compelling read and an excellent source of information on the topic."—Publishers Weekly
"Smoking a doobie isn’t the worst thing a person could do...and Lee backs that thought up with social history aplenty, ranging from neolithic experiments down to the Kerouac-ian consumers of the Beat Era."—Kirkus Reviews
"Lee…imagines a bright, legal, lucrative future for weed.”—Business Week
“[E]xuberant, richly researched.”
— Boston Globe
"High but not dry...a lively and informative book.”
— Detroit Metro Times
“This is a brilliant book . . . Smoke Signals is destined to be a classic.”
— Mikki Norris
“As Martin A. Lee shows in Smoke Signals, his engaging and illuminating new history, marijuana’s contraband status is a result of historical accident, racial prejudice, xenophobia, loads of cultural baggage, and an astonishing amount of ignorance.”
— Jacob Sullum, Reason
“Lee’s new book is the precise educational tool that our country currently needs . . . Smoke Signals should be required reading in every high school history class.”
— David J. Brown, author, Mavericks of Medicine
“[A] clearheaded survey that stretches from 2700 B.C. to the Obama administration.”
— James Hughes, Slate
“[A] delightful surprise . . . impossible to put down.”
— Anna Diaz, Real Weedist
"[T]he best, most comprehensive account of the American marijuana movement(s) to date . . . Smoke Signals is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the contemporary marijuana movement."
— Phil Smith
“Hallelujah and glory be to Smoke Signals, Martin Lee’s bodacious new book…[Lee] chronicles everything and everyone worth chronicling in the annals of marijuana.”
— High Times