Offbeat Marijuana: The Life and Times of the World's Grooviest Plant

Offbeat Marijuana: The Life and Times of the World's Grooviest Plant

by Saul Rubin
     
 


An entertaining look at the historical, legal, political, medicinal, and social aspects of what has been called the world's most versatile plant. This fascinating tour of the marijuana universe is for friend and foe alike. Offbeat Marijuana chronicles the history of the world's most versatile plant. From its use by the Chinese in 3,000 B.C.E. to battleSee more details below

Overview


An entertaining look at the historical, legal, political, medicinal, and social aspects of what has been called the world's most versatile plant. This fascinating tour of the marijuana universe is for friend and foe alike. Offbeat Marijuana chronicles the history of the world's most versatile plant. From its use by the Chinese in 3,000 B.C.E. to battle malaria, to the burgeoning American Hemp industry of the 17th and 18th centuries, to the politically-motivated demonization of the 1930s, to the U.S. Government's schizophrenic directive to farmers to grow "Hemp for Victory" during World War II, to its enduring presence in late-20th century popular culture, Offbeat Marijuana dares the reader to judge the true nature of this controversial plant.

Editorial Reviews

Phil Maher
New pot book is groovy, man! [I]mportant and noteworthy information is presented in a very nonchalant, laid-back argument, on pages decorated with all kinds of green graphics and silly photos, as well as definitions for various pothead terms, such as "grasshopper" and "boot the gong." Overall, Offbeat Marijuana does an excellent job of combing the relevant political argument for decriminalization with eccentric offbeat spirit of the drug itself.
From Phil Maher, Daily Videlle, Illinois Sate University, Normal IL
Booknews
This decidedly lowbrow contribution to the literature on the marijuana debate is unimpressive in both textual and visual content; many photographs are printed in too-dark, low-contrast b&w (and, surprise, green), and many of their captions consist of such lame attempts at humor it's doubtful that they would be funny even under the influence. The body of the text itself also adopts this self-consciously "freewheeling" tone as it meanders through discussions of pot prohibition, medicinal use, and other uses of hemp. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
Robert Scheer
Let me offer praise for Offbeat Marijuana. Finally, a book on the decriminalizing side of the marijuana debate that doesn't take itself too seriously — sort of a giggling high.
Los Angeles Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781891661051
Publisher:
Santa Monica Press
Publication date:
01/28/1999
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 9.19(h) x 2.31(d)

Read an Excerpt

The marijuana plant is truly a weed success story. Like an herbal Zelig, marijuana has played a versatile, high-profile role through five thousand stormy years of cultivation. The plant has such great survival instincts that it can change sex as needed and adapts quickly to new climates. It also has a quirky reproductive method. Nearing the end of its spring-to-fall cycle, it relies on a breeze to carry pollen from male stamens to waiting female flowers. This capricious union creates seeds that spill to the ground and germinate next season's crop. In a kind of horticultural shrug, each new generation of the plant literally moves in whatever direction t he wind is blowing. Amid the fierce survival battles so common in the wild, along comes a plant that says, "whatever."

In its most sobering incarnation, the marijuana plant's hollow stalk has been used for centuries to make vital fiber products, including clothing, rope, and paper. Europeans and early Americans knew it as hemp, and considered it a crucial crop. American farmers stopped growing it after the Civil War when demand dropped, but the hemp plant kept right on going. Even today wild hemp continues to crop up across America in areas as diverse as rural pastures and city sewers.

More than just a useful fiber, marijuana has been harvested as medicine for thousands of years. Various cultures have added it to medicinal teas, extracts, and potions to treat a variety of illnesses, from bronchitis to "absentmindedness." Chinese medical records show that it was used as far back as five thousand years to battle malaria, gout, and to ease the discomfort of menstrual cramps. In the West, marijuana was prescribed for everything from pain relief to convulsions. It was suggested to Queen Victoria by her court physician, with no great fuss, to treat her cramps.

If the marijuana plant's story ended here, it would make for a worthy tale. But it would be one of simple benevolence, lacking complexity and depth. The story doesn't end there, of course--it continues on, further up the stalk, where the plant's darker side enters the picture. Marijuana survives in blazingly hot regions by secreting a leaf-coating resin that protects it from the sun's dehydrating effects. This heat-shielding nectar is saturated with a compound scientists call tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly referred to as THC. Marijuana contains 400 chemicals and 60 cannabinoids--compounds unique to the plant-but THC is by far the plant's most famous and profound substance. THC has made all the difference for marijuana, infusing its flowering tops and leaves with mind-altering powers. In concentrated form the intoxicating resin is called hash.

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What People are saying about this

Dennis Peron
Offbeat Marijuana is a well researched chronology of the most medically useful plant on the planet.
— (Dennis Peron, San Francisco Cannabis Buyer's Club founder and legalization activist)
Ray Manzarek
I highly recommend Offbeat Marijuana...come to think of it, I highly recommend the herb too!
— (Ray Manzarek, poet and keyboardist for The Doors)
Scott Imler
Offbeat Marijuana offers one of the best explanations yet as to why patients are not allowed medical marijuana legally.
— (Scott Imler, founder, executive director and president, Los Angeles Cannabis Reosurce Center)
Jack Herer
Offbeat Marijuana is fun, full of knowledge, literate and satisfying. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
— (Jack Herer, author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes)
Tommy Chong
Even if you don't get high, Saul Rubin's factual accounting of the other benefits of this magic weed should explode the myths and inform the public of someting I have known all along. I think this book will hasten the legalization of marijuana.
— (Tommy Chong, comedian and actor)

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