It's called "weed" for a reason--marijuana grows practically anywhere, and it has infiltrated deeply into societies around the globe. In Pot Planet
, journalist Brian Preston scores big, compiling reports from Thailand, Amsterdam, Australia, his home in Vancouver, B.C., and other hotbeds of the high life. Part travelogue, part buyer's guide, the book is largely experiential reporting--where Preston went, whom he met, how high he got--but never strays far from its strong anti-prohibition message. The rules concerning growing, sales, and use are different nearly everywhere he goes, but there are always rules, and by the end of his travels he finds his paranoia strongly taxed. Preston has a knack for describing the unique qualities of his surroundings, whether natural or cultural; temples in Nepal and muggings in London are as real for the reader as they were for the author. Interviews with growers of all scales, street consumers, and occasional users from Tangier to Kathmandu keep the reader thinking globally, while the closing "pot polemic" encourages Americans to act locally. While Pot Planet
won't turn on those who aren't already interested in the herb, statistics suggest that such readers are in the minority. --Rob Lightner
--This text refers to an alternate
From Publishers Weekly
For this adventurous travelogue, freelance journalist Preston (a contributor to Rolling Stone, Details and Vogue) literally smoked his way around the world, investigating marijuana culture in the U.S. and Europe as well as in places as far away as Nepal, Morocco, Australia and Southeast Asia. Although the idea of a journalist smoking himself across the globe might sound like the kind of lightweight assignment dreamed up at a High Times office party, the book, based mostly on Preston's extensive travels, is a marvelously entertaining, well-written and probing look at the world through marijuana, from the plant itself to the subculture of peoples who smoke it (an estimated 200 million worldwide), grow it, sell it and outlaw it. Throughout, Preston proves himself to be both an intrepid traveler and a fine storyteller. He effortlessly weaves tales humorous and harrowing, vividly rendering his environs and introducing readers to an array of fascinating characters, from growers in Vancouver to activists in London and a variety of guides and acquaintances in exotic locales. A copious researcher, he is equally at ease detailing plant science or the evolution of Amsterdam's drug policies. To his credit, Preston avoids introducing any sort of legalization polemic until a final, brief chapter, which is an unfortunate addition. His musings at the book's end only interfere with any conclusions readers themselves might be expected to draw. Still, for those who share an affinity with Preston's subject, this excellent book will be devoured like a tray of brownies.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.