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Dying to Get High: Marijuana as Medicine Paperback – August 3, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0814716670 ISBN-10: 0814716679 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sociologist Chapkis (Live Sex Acts: Women Performing Erotic Labor) and educator Webb chronicle the experiences of caregivers, patients and local officials in the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, a nonprofit formed in the wake of California's "Compassionate Use Act of 1996" dedicated to education, research and providing cannabis to patients suffering from "chronic and life-threatening illnesses." Focusing on cannabis's benefits to the seriously ill, the authors investigate many aspects of this complicated issue, including marijuana cooperatives versus big pharma, the power of making one's own health care decisions, and the implications of alternative medicine's growing mainstream cachet. Chapkis and Webb rely on "anecdotal patient reports, not clinical trials," noting that the DEA and National Institute on Drug Abuse have for decades successfully instituted a policy of blocking "even carefully designed, FDA-approved research on the medical value of marijuana." While the authors mention arguments against medical marijuana ("'crude botanicals' are not real medicine; marijuana is reduced to and synonymous with smoking...; and 'feeling better' isn't always therapeutic"), patient testimony is largely positive and discussion of adverse effects limited. Still, this volume presents a great deal of information and perspective, and should be of value to the chronically ill and their caregivers, as well as those involved in public policy.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"This is a beautifully written account from the front lines of a struggle between a federal drug war complex determined to keep demonizing marijuana and the growing movement of patients and doctors who have found marijuana to be a valuable medicine. Voters in California and many other states have strongly supported the patients. The moving stories in this book show why."
-Craig Reinarman,co-author of Crack in America: Demon Drugs and Social Justice



“An interesting and intelligent contribution to the contemporary history of drugs.”-Stephen Snelders,VU-University Medical Center, Amsterdam

"Chapkis and Webb offer a well-written exposition of the polemics involved in the medical marijuana controversy. . . . Chapkis and Webb have skillfully intertwined abstract concepts with "real life" experiences that exemplify the costs and benefits of the medical marijuana drama."
-Choice



“Addresses many important questions and contradictions in government policy, effectively rebutting official propaganda with common sense, scientific facts and the anecdotal evidence recorded by WAMM patients... the book is so well-written and researched that even the most hard-hearted will be persuaded that the Fed’s policies against the medicinal use of cannabis need to change now.”-High Times

"Dying to Get High: Marijuana as Medicine is an important and accessible book—not heavy on academic jargon, but rather lively and engaging, like a true detective novel—with a broad appeal to those interested in the medical potential of cannabis, an end to the drug war and grass roots activism."

-High Times

"Offering nuance in the place of slogans, Dying to Get High tells an inspiring story of the tactics and philosophies of a little-understood health movement."

-Steven Epstein,author of Inclusion: The Politics of Difference in Medical Research

“Criticizes the disconnect between public policy and practical knowledge of the lives of medical marijuana users.”-The Chronicle Review

"Offers a fascinating look at medi-pot, medi-pot patients, and the state of the nation’s drug laws, a must-read for every pot-law reformer."

-Austin Chronicle

"A thought provoking portrait of a Santa Cruz cannabis collective."
-The Chronicle of Higher Education



"Their book offers an important overview of a public policy matter that is certain to become more significant in the coming years."
-SocietyBooks of Note



"The authors offer a compelling take on the political and cultural debates that surround this issue."

-Portland Phoenix

"Chapkis and Webb’s new book provides a human element to the history, pharmacology, psychology, and politics of medical marijuana in a way that no other work has. The book is as riveting as a detective novel, as informative as a textbook, and as moving as a romance. I loved reading it and sure wish I’d written it."
-Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D. ,Author of Understanding Marijuana



"Chapkis and Webb have done a masterful job in describing the intricacies of the drug debate and offer brilliant analysis on a complex and controversial subject. Both baby boomers and the current teenage population will find this book important and compelling reading."
-Terry Williams,author of Crackhouse: Notes from the End of the Line



"Emphasis here is on the human experience—extensive interviews provide a unique look at the day-to-day issues faced by chronic and terminally ill patients who find relief through the marijuana that is grown and distributed to them at no cost. WAMM’s history, philosophies, and relationship with local officials are also examined."
-Library Journal



“The authors clarify many of the issues relating to medical marijuana and how it differs from recreational use.”-Library Journal
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press; 1 edition (August 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814716679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814716670
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,001,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By raisintoastie on September 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
Widely considered the "gold standard" of the medi-pot movement, the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, a co-op that distributes free cannabis to seriously ill people, provides the central focus of this book.

The activist founders of WAMM, Mike and Valerie Corral, have tirelessly challenged the federal prohibition of cannabis as medicine. WAMM members are stricken with AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and other ailments, but lawmakers in Washington continue to insist that these patients are simply "potheads scamming the system." Against the backdrop of WAMM's struggles and successes, authors Wendy Chapkis and Richard J. Webb examine the history of cannabis and medicine in America, placing the current controversy in context.

Chapters examining scientific research and legal developments are packed with information, plus the book is interspersed with interviews of patients, caregivers, physicians, police and lawmakers that put a human perspective on the need for truly legal medicinal pot.

"Dying to Get High" addresses many important questions and contradictions in the Federal policy, effectively defusing government propaganda with common sense, scientific facts and the anecdotal evidence recorded by WAMM patients. Compassionate readers will be moved by the stories of suffering, and the book is so well-written and researched that even the most hard-hearted prohibitionist will be persuaded that the laws criminalizing the medicinal use of cannabis need to change.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jean Hanamoto on December 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stories from the battle against patients and their medicine. Heart-felt and real. George and I are in it, so it's one of our favorites! :) Jean
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patrick on March 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really wish that all politicians that are trying to make laws about marijuana in this country would read this book so that they could get a much better understanding of the impacts that their decisions have when they vote against medical marijuana. This is seriously a great book, even for people who understand the situation already. I would recommend this to anyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cwn_Annwn on April 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
Dying to Get High for the most part concentrates on the story of a medical Marijuana collective in California. It more or less sickens me the harrassment these people went through for growing something that helps people who have serious illnesses and giving it away to them more or less for free. The therapeutic uses of Marijuana is something big Pharma is scared to death of. You have a "drug" that is helpful in many ways and no matter how hard they have tried over the years, they can't seem to find any health problems that arise from smoking Marijuana. However many if not most of the drugs that big Pharma pushes have serious side effects and absolutely will damage your health in both the long and short term. Besides that many Americans, mainly because of the influence of Christianity, have this idea that pleasure is evil and will do anything possible to keep people from feeling good. Most likely Marijuana will be decriminalized in California soon but I predict the criminal United States federal government/courts will step in and violate the constitution yet again.
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