Pot, Inc.: Inside Medical Marijuana, America's Most Outlaw Industry

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Overview

Greg Campbell, coauthor of the bestselling Flawless and Blood Diamonds, presents a compelling, close-up investigation of a hot-button topic: America's schizophrenic attitude to the legalization of pot.
 
Campbell, a suburban father whose biggest vice is a cold beer, seems like the last person who would grow weed in his basement. But his attitude changed in 2009, when his home state of Colorado led the nation in mainstreaming medical ...
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Pot, Inc.: Inside Medical Marijuana, America's Most Outlaw Industry

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Overview

Greg Campbell, coauthor of the bestselling Flawless and Blood Diamonds, presents a compelling, close-up investigation of a hot-button topic: America's schizophrenic attitude to the legalization of pot.
 
Campbell, a suburban father whose biggest vice is a cold beer, seems like the last person who would grow weed in his basement. But his attitude changed in 2009, when his home state of Colorado led the nation in mainstreaming medical marijuana. Watching with fascination as above-board and financially thriving dispensaries popped up everywhere, Campbell wondered, “Why not me?” Pot, Inc. chronicles Greg's journey into DIY ganjapreneurialism, as he learns how to cultivate marijuana, examines America's often unduly harsh laws, and unearths ignorance about pot's centuries-old therapeutic value--ignorance the government is desperate to maintain. Along the way, he also gains a very personal insight into the drug's medicinal value that shapes his opinion about legalization.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Campbell’s impressive new book explores pot from all angles, giving voice to both sides on the complex debate, and providing a surprisingly thoughtful meditation on the drug, especially the medical benefits. Campbell (Blood Diamonds) delves into the history of pot’s persecution, beginning with the racial undertones of initial opposition in the 1930s, to Nixon’s War on Drugs and the contemporary federal approach that seems too entrenched to reverse its universal policy of “Just Say No.” Although he supports a nuanced acceptance of marijuana use, Campbell holds the pro-pot advocates up to the journalistic microscope, highlighting the leadership squabbles, scandals, and shady characters within the movement. The narrative proves most engaging when Campbell explores his personal involvement with the drug. After his home state of Colorado amended the state constitution to permit medical marijuana, and with the 2009 memo from the Obama administration that downplays the importance of persecuting medical marijuana charges, Campbell joins the Wild West of marijuana cultivation, as hundreds of dispensaries pop up overnight, including one in his own gym. Not content to observe, Campbell applies for a medical marijuana card, converts his basement office into a grow room, and even sells his pot on Craigslist. The book masterfully blends research with personal anecdote to argue that the problem in this country isn’t marijuana, but how wrongly we perceive it. (June)
From the Publisher
"Is legalizing marijuana for medical purposes primarily a cover for increasing access for recreational use, or will legalization chiefly provide medical relief to patients with few other options while also fostering a more open dialog about this controversial substance? Although a number of states now allow marijuana for medical use, it is still illegal under federal law. Citing curiosity as his motive, Campbell (Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History) sought an insider's view into cannabis culture. The author, who lives in Colorado, where medical marijuana is legal under state law, gets approved as a medical user, attends cannabis conventions, studies cannabis horticulture, and interviews advocates and DEA officials to learn more about this way of life. VERDICT With humor (e.g., explaining to his teenage son about the pot growing in their basement and trying to cover the pervasive smell from neighbors) and compassion (e.g., in interviews with patients who have found relief only through marijuana), Campbell provides an absorbing and thought-provoking firsthand look at this hotly debated issue. Recommended." --Library Journal
 

 

Praise for FLAWLESS:

 
"Like a diamond, this true-life caper is clear, colorful, and brilliant." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
"Fans of caper books and movies will be in seventh heaven here. ...A must-read for true-crime fans." --Booklist (starred review)

Library Journal
Is legalizing marijuana for medical purposes primarily a cover for increasing access for recreational use, or will legalization chiefly provide medical relief to patients with few other options while also fostering a more open dialog about this controversial substance? Although a number of states now allow marijuana for medical use, it is still illegal under federal law. Citing curiosity as his motive, Campbell (Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History) sought an insider's view into cannabis culture. The author, who lives in Colorado, where medical marijuana is legal under state law, gets approved as a medical user, attends cannabis conventions, studies cannabis horticulture, and interviews advocates and DEA officials to learn more about this way of life. VERDICT With humor (e.g., explaining to his teenage son about the pot growing in their basement and trying to cover the pervasive smell from neighbors) and compassion (e.g., in interviews with patients who have found relief only through marijuana), Campbell provides an absorbing and thought-provoking firsthand look at this hotly debated issue. Recommended.—Tina Neville, Univ. of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Lib.
Kirkus Reviews
A journalist turned "ganjapreneur" examines America's schizophrenic attitude toward marijuana. A few years ago, after the Obama administration indicated that it wasn't interested in busting medical marijuana growers around the country, pot enthusiasts in Colorado rejoiced. That joy was short-lived, however, as the authorities later suggested that the era of worry-free toking was greatly exaggerated--even for state-sanctioned dispensaries in that state. Campbell (Blood Diamonds: Tracing the Deadly Path of the World's Most Precious Stones, 2002, etc.) recounts the ensuing panic and the long history of oppressive U.S. drug policy toward marijuana. Amid the careful research rich in salient statistics and telling case studies, the author presents moving personal histories of people whose only crime was trying to relieve their own chronic pain or help out a sick friend. The author juxtaposes these stories with those of his often-hilarious adventures in at-home marijuana cultivation. His angst is palpable as he spends sleepless nights worrying that the noxious odors exuding from his basement "farmhouse" will finally tip off the neighbors and that the next knock on the door will be a helmeted SWAT team with an arrest warrant. Because of these personal experiences, Campbell is able to provide invaluable insight into what medical marijuana growers in the United States endure each day. The hypocrisy throughout is evident, but, writes the author, Drug Enforcement Agency honchos remain true believers, convinced, despite ample evidence to the contrary, that marijuana is truly the devil's weed. Campbell's tireless digging, both physically and figuratively, provides a treasure-trove of information that can only encourage intelligent debate over the future of marijuana prohibition. Rigorous analysis buoyed by a deep sense of humanity.
James Norton
…a brisk, clear-headed survey of a complicated topic…Campbell is a friendly skeptic, largely convinced of pot's benign nature, but he's willing to subject the culture of idealists, dropouts, mercenaries and outright criminals that surround it to a healthy dose of sunshine.
—The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402779251
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 4/3/2012
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 275,864
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

GREG CAMPBELL is the author of Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History a Denver Post, Globe & Mail, and Library Journal bestseller, Blood Diamonds: Tracing the Deadly Path of the World's Most Precious Stones the source material for the Leonardo DiCaprio movie of the same name, and The Road to Kosovo: A Balkan Diary. Campbell is also an award-winning journalist whose his writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal Magazine, The Economist, The San Francisco Times, Paris Match, and The Christian Science Monitor, among others. He lives in Fort Collins, CO.  

 

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Table of Contents

A Note About Stoners and Potheads vi

Prologue: "Living the Dream" ix

1 Post Street, USA 1

2 Rocky Mountain High 28

3 Reefer Madness, Pot Peddlers, and Dope Fiends: How Pot Became Poison 49

4 One Toke Over the Line: Summer of 1991 73

5 Home Is Where the Pot Is 94

6 Up in Smoke 118

7 Growing Pains and Ganja Gurus 139

8 Unlocking the Doors of Perception 157

9 First, Do No Harm 178

10 Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You: Auditors With Guns 201

11 Misty Mountain Hop 219

Epilogue: A Sea of Green From Coast to Coast 234

Acknowledgments 252

Endnotes 255

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 8, 2012

    Great read, informative, with lots of rip roaring humor and good

    Great read, informative, with lots of rip roaring humor and good old fashion common sense direction for the nation. Debunks alot of  stereotypical  misinformation.thanks!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting and amazing story of Pot, why would we have a brain

    Interesting and amazing story of Pot, why would we have a brain receptor for cannabanoids. i believe it has a legitimate medical use beyond what we know now.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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