Whether it’s through the education system, or political rhetoric, we’re never short of inaccurate information about cannabis.
“It’s a gateway drug to harder drugs!” they cry.
“It ruins families!” they yell.
“Good people don’t smoke marijuana,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions says.
And yet, no one has ever died from a cannabis overdose.
Since members of the federal government and various government agencies continue to spread lies about cannabis, it’s up to the people — as in us, the cannabis community — to disbel and debunk these myths about a lifesaving plant.
One way to arm ourselves against misinformation is by reading about the true and marginalized histories of cannabis, which tell a more accurate and balanced narrative of the United States’ imperialist involvement with the War on Drugs, both abroad and at home.
Here are are top picks that’ll help you to education yourself.
1. ‘A Narco History’ By Carmen Boullosa And Mike Wallace
2015 read A Narco History: How the United States and Mexico Jointly Created the Mexican Drug War exposes the true cost of this outrageous drug-related conflict: A death toll that tops well over 100,000 Mexican people, and counting. The text starts at the Nixon administration and brings us up to President Obama’s second term. But these authors wouldn’t consider Mexico a victim, since corrupt segments of the country immensely profited off the back of daily injustices.
A Narco History: How the United States and Mexico Jointly Created the Mexican Drug War is published by OR Books.
2. ‘Home Grown: Marijuana And The Origins Of Mexico’s War On Drugs’ By Isaac Campos
Released in 2014, Home Grown: Marijuana and the Origins of Mexico’s War on Drugs digs deep into historical archives and provides a take on Mexican history that is conscious of Spanish colonization. For instance, Spanish settlers brought cannabis to the continent as an industrial fiber, but indigenous cultures were also using these crops in their healing traditions. It wasn’t until the xenophobic nickname “marijuana” came about, which ignited propaganda campaigns that led to a national ban in 1920. This propaganda, at least in the US, also targeted Mexican immigrants, leading to strict border patrol and enforcement.
Home Grown: Marijuana and the Origins of Mexico’s War on Drugs is published by the University of North Carolina Press.
3. ‘Hemp — American History Revisited’ By Robert Deitch
And of course, we must also address the topic of hemp — after all, this crop is often confused with THC plants, which is the result of ignorance and also an immense lack of credible information. Hemp — American History Revisited journeys far back in history, all the way back to European colonizers who brought cannabis with them across the Atlantic Ocean. The country’s Founding Fathers, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, grew cannabis on their plantation farms, which helped them gain wealth and therefore power. Since the plant has such a formative role in the development of the country’s economic system, the author suggests prohibition of cannabis instigated the Great Depression.
Hemp — American History Revisited is available from Amazon.
4. ‘Feminist Weed Farmer: Growing Your Own Medicine In Your Own Backyard’ By Madrone Stewart
It’s also important to take a look at books written about cannabis by cannabis growers themselves, especially in the current climate of industry growth, and also from the perspective of those people who come from marginalized backgrounds.
Written by cultivator Madrone Stewart, Feminist Weed Farmer: Growing Your Own Medicine in Your Own Backyard uses a personal narrative to explain the basics of home growing — from seeding to harvesting to processing — through a woman-centric lens. For instance, for pest management, Stewart urges readers to consider more natural solutions (including neem oil) rather than harsh chemicals.
Look out for Feminist Weed Farmer: Growing Your Own Medicine in Your Own Backyard, coming in November 2018 and published by Microcosm Publishing.