With full legalization seeming inevitable, it’s time to shift the conversation—from whether recreational cannabis should be legalized to how.
Weed Rules argues that it’s time for states to abandon their “grudging tolerance” approach to legal weed and to embrace “careful exuberance.” In this thorough and witty book, law professor Jay Wexler invites policy makers to responsibly embrace the enormous benefits of cannabis, including the joy and euphoria it brings to those who use it.
The “grudging tolerance” approach has led to restrictions that are too strict in some cases—limiting how and where cannabis can be used, cultivated, marketed, and sold—and far too loose in others, allowing employers and police to discriminate against users. This book shows how focusing on joy and community can lead us to an equitable marijuana policy in which minority communities, most harmed by the war on drugs, play a leading role in the industry. Centering pleasure and fun as legitimate policy goals, Weed Rules puts forth specific policies to advocate for a more just, sensible, and joyous post-legalization society.
Jay Wexler is a professor of law at Boston University, a former law clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court, and the author of seven books, including The Odd Clauses, Our Non-Christian Nation, and the novel Tuttle in the Balance.
Depending on which doctor you speak with, or which websites you read, cannabis could be an appealing, low-risk medicine – even an aid to wellness – or an insidiously addictive drug rotting the brains of our youth. This dissonance confuses young people, distressed patients, and paralyzes politicians, all while inviting dubious sources of information and resulting in uninformed choices, enhanced polarization, and a fragmented national policy.
Seeing Through the Smoke is an unflinching examination at the grossly misunderstood drug that uses data-driven medical science and a critical historical perspective to reveal the truth behind cannabis. In this balanced and measured investigation, cannabis specialist and Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School Dr. Peter Grinspoon untangles the reality behind cannabis, revealing how we ended up with radically divergent understandings of the drug and pointing a way toward a middle ground that we can all share.
Moving through an illuminating tour of the social history and the medical science behind cannabis, Grinspoon unpacks the layers of disinformation left by a sordid history of government propaganda, racial suppression, and indifference from the medical community to answer questions like: Is cannabis addictive? What are its best-established medical uses? Can cannabis help cure cancer? How does cannabis affect memory? How dangerous is cannabis for teens? Is cannabis a safer treatment for ADHD and PTSD? What exactly is CBD and how is it different from marijuana? What are the most concerning side effects?
By focusing on the most critical purported harms–driving, pregnancy, addictiveness, memory–and by focusing on the most commonly cited medical benefits–relieving chronic pain, sleep, anxiety, PTSD, autism, and cancer–Seeing Through the Smoke will help patients, parents, doctors, health experts, regulators, and politicians move beyond biased perceptions and arrive at a shared reality towards cannabis.
Peter Grinspoon, M.D. is a primary care physician and cannabis specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is the author of Seeing Through the Smoke: A Cannabis Expert Untangles the Truth about Marijuana, which comes out on 4.20. He is a TedX speaker, a national media figure and the author of the groundbreaking memoir Free Refills: A Doctor Confronts His Addiction. He is a board member of the physician advocacy group Doctors for Cannabis Regulation.
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