Pot Planet: Adventures in Global Marijuana Culture

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9780802138972: Pot Planet: Adventures in Global Marijuana Culture

Marijuana is cultivated in nearly every region of the world, from the jungles of Laos to the arid hills of northern California. It's smoked and enjoyed for medicinal, spiritual, and recreational purposes by an estimated 200 million people worldwide. In Pot Planet, journalist Brian Preston sets out on a global ganja safari to explore strange new cannabis cultures, to seek out new growers, activists, and other reefer revolutionaries ... and to boldly get baked with each of them. Preston's journeys take him across every strata of pot cultivation and enjoyment. In the Canadian Kootenays he meets hemp farmers struggling to harvest their crop on the fringes of legitimacy. In Cambodia and Morocco he explores the final frontiers of Third World weed enthusiasts. In northern California he takes a clear-eyed look at the medicinal marijuana movement, seeing both its promises and its problems. In England, Switzerland, and Spain he observes grudging governments catching up to public tolerance. And at the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam he joins in the raucous multiday tasting competition and celebration at the international summit of the best breeders, growers, and connoisseurs in the world. Part investigative travelogue, part cultural history, part polemic for the unfettered enjoyment of nature's most perfect and pleasing herb, Pot Planet is an unforgettable odyssey into the multifaceted world of hemp, full of wit, insight, and inspiration.

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Review:

It's called "weed" for a reason--marijuana grows practically anywhere, and it has infiltrated deeply into societies around the globe. In Pot Planet, journalist Brian Preston scores big, compiling reports from Thailand, Amsterdam, Australia, his home in Vancouver, B.C., and other hotbeds of the high life. Part travelogue, part buyer's guide, the book is largely experiential reporting--where Preston went, whom he met, how high he got--but never strays far from its strong anti-prohibition message. The rules concerning growing, sales, and use are different nearly everywhere he goes, but there are always rules, and by the end of his travels he finds his paranoia strongly taxed. Preston has a knack for describing the unique qualities of his surroundings, whether natural or cultural; temples in Nepal and muggings in London are as real for the reader as they were for the author. Interviews with growers of all scales, street consumers, and occasional users from Tangier to Kathmandu keep the reader thinking globally, while the closing "pot polemic" encourages Americans to act locally. While Pot Planet won't turn on those who aren't already interested in the herb, statistics suggest that such readers are in the minority. --Rob Lightner

From Publishers Weekly:

For this adventurous travelogue, freelance journalist Preston (a contributor to Rolling Stone, Details and Vogue) literally smoked his way around the world, investigating marijuana culture in the U.S. and Europe as well as in places as far away as Nepal, Morocco, Australia and Southeast Asia. Although the idea of a journalist smoking himself across the globe might sound like the kind of lightweight assignment dreamed up at a High Times office party, the book, based mostly on Preston's extensive travels, is a marvelously entertaining, well-written and probing look at the world through marijuana, from the plant itself to the subculture of peoples who smoke it (an estimated 200 million worldwide), grow it, sell it and outlaw it. Throughout, Preston proves himself to be both an intrepid traveler and a fine storyteller. He effortlessly weaves tales humorous and harrowing, vividly rendering his environs and introducing readers to an array of fascinating characters, from growers in Vancouver to activists in London and a variety of guides and acquaintances in exotic locales. A copious researcher, he is equally at ease detailing plant science or the evolution of Amsterdam's drug policies. To his credit, Preston avoids introducing any sort of legalization polemic until a final, brief chapter, which is an unfortunate addition. His musings at the book's end only interfere with any conclusions readers themselves might be expected to draw. Still, for those who share an affinity with Preston's subject, this excellent book will be devoured like a tray of brownies.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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