Longtime Dishheads will remember that rather extraordinary reader email thread that had to do with secret middle-class, mainstream marijuana use - for medical and non-medical reasons. The thread "The Cannabis Closet" began with one reader email in March 2009 and became one of the most talked-about cultural discussions on the question of marijuana legalization. Dishheads will also remember we promised, by popular demand, to compile them all into a book. We are massively over-stretched, but we have finally come through, thanks to Chris Bodenner's meticulous and back-breaking work. Drum roll please ...
The book is a compilation of first-person pot use testimonials, from top executives to responsible parents, from entrepreneurs to A-students, from unwinding suburbanites to the very sick. In more than 120 personal stories, it demolishes every hoary "stoner" stereotype of the regular pot-user. It doesn't glide over the downsides of pot-use, but it does explain more graphically and powerfully how marijuana-use has become as American as, er, brownies and milk. It shows how responsible pot-use is already compatible with middle-class life and its obligations.
Reading it as a whole is a totally different experience than reading it one email at a time. When I got Chris's first draft, I couldn't stop reading it, and couldn't help but be strangely moved by it all over again, even though I had read every single word of it before. There's something about the cumulative impact of so many heart-felt testimonials that does more to change the mind than any abstract argument, and Chris has shaped it into a compelling narrative - from shame and doubt to a form of liberation and success - that packs a real punch. It's a truly powerful way to persuade anyone of the rightness and sanity of this cause - created by the anonymity and free expression of new media, now re-purposed into the classic staple of old media: a simple, short, easily pocketed paperback.
10 Dec 2010 12:41 pm