To some it's antisocial anathema, to others it is a harmless way to relax, or provides relief from crippling pain. Some fear it is a dangerous drug that leads to 'reefer madness' and addiction; to others still it is a legal anomaly and should be decriminalized. Whatever the viewpoint, and by whatever name it is known, cannabis - or marijuana, hashish, pot, dope, kif, weed, dagga, grass, ganja - incites debate at every level.
In this definitive study, Martin Booth - author of the acclaimed OPIUM: A HISTORY - charts the history of cannabis from the Neolithic period to the present day. It is a fascinating, colourful tale of medical advance, religious enlightenment, political subterfuge and human rights; of law enforcement and customs officers, smugglers, street pushers, gang warfare, writers, artists, musicians, hippies and pot-heads.
Booth chronicles the remarkable and often mystifying process through which cannabis, a relatively harmless substance, became outlawed throughout the Western world, and the devastating effect such legislation has had on the global economy. Above all, he demonstrates how the case for decriminalization remains one of the twenty-first century's hottest topics.
"Enlightening...a very engaging history."
"Booth tells this story with admirable restraint...this book should be on the shelf of anyone interested in human freedoms and bad laws."
"So good no one will need to do another for at least fifty years...mesmerizing detail, fantastical digressions, lots of jokes and wry asides."
"A testament to the late Booth that he could make such a boring subject so interesting."
"A colourful tale ... Chronicles the remarkable and often mystifying process through which cannabis became outlawed throughout the Western world, and the devastating effect such legislation has had on the global economy."