Whatever the viewpoint and by whatever nickname it is known, the drug cannabis always incites debate. Martin Booth traces the history of the plant and its derivatives back to the Neolithic. He paints a picture of medical advances, subterfuge, religious enlightenment, smuggling and gang warfare.
To some it's anathema, to others it provides relief from crippling pain: 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, dope, kif, weed, dagga, grass, ganga - incites debate at ever level and its impact on the world's cultures and economies is undeniable. Dating back to the Neolithic period, the history of cannabis is a tale of medical advance, religious enlightenment, political subterfuge and human rights; of law enforcement and customs officers, cunning smugglers, street pushers, gang warfare, writers, artists, musicians and happy-go-lucky hippies and pot-heads.
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The author of the definitive history of opium now turns his attention to the one drug that almost everyone has had first- or second-hand experience of (except in the book trade of course which is famously clean-living). So dense is Booth's research, so all-encompassing his information, one almost reels beneath it - as if stoned, one is tempted to add. Fascinating facts spiral out like circling smoke rings. For example, on the dangers of smoking cannabis, he notes research that suggests it would take 800 joints to kill, 'death coming from carbon monoxide rather than cannabinoid poisoning'. He is fascinating on the hounding of jazz musicians in a dope version of the McCarthy witch-hunts and concludes that the war on cannabis is not being fought due to a concern for public health or order. but for public morality.
About Martin Booth
Martin Booth is an internationally known, Booker Prize short-listed novelist and writer. He is considered an authority on the history of Chinese organized crime syndicates and the international opiate narcotics trade. His Opium: A History is regarded as the definitive book on the subject.
Cannabis: A History by Martin Booth
Used - Very Good
Transworld Publishers Ltd
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