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September 02, 2009

3 More Book Recommendations

A little over a month ago, I listed six books I’d found helpful after becoming seriously opposed to the drug war. All were primarily concerned with policy; three had been written in the early Seventies and three in the mid Nineties. Today I’d like to add three more; all with a focus on the drug culture that began in the Sixties and were written by authors who freely admit their own drug use. That's why I found them so valuable; for one thing, they educated me on several aspects of the counterculture I'd been only vaguely aware of, for another, they will educate readers with open minds by demonstrating the differences between their authors' generally liberal points of view and those of well known drug policy hawks like William Bennett, who still regards "addiction" as evil, but can't understood that he has publicly embraced at least three (ditto Rush Limbaugh, with two to his credit).

Another reason for listing these books together is that they appeared at intervals after Nixon’e drug war; thus they also illustrate generational differences similar to those exhibited by the applicants I’ve been interviewing (which adds to my suspicion that the adult humans psyche is far more intensely influenced by childhood experiences than ls commonly realized).

The three books, in order of original publication:

Reefer Madness, by Larry “Ratso” Sloman.

Focused on the late Seventies and early Eighties and well researched, it contains a lot of info on Harry Anslinger and the Marijuana Tax Act. One example is a more nuanced reading of Dr. Woodward's prescient objections to it than I have ever seen; there's also a useful 1998 Afterward by Michael Simmons.

Acid Dreams Extremely well sourced review of the Sixties; more focused on psychedelic drugs than on marijuana per se, but a useful reminder that the two categories should always be considered within the same general context.

The Cannabis Companion by Steve Wishnia.

The most recent, and (by far) best illustrated of the three; also the one with the weakest historical point of view. The author is a formal editor of High Times.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at September 2, 2009 08:23 PM