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Pot Planet: Adventures in Global Marijuana Culture Paperback – April 12, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (April 12, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802138977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802138972
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,967,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 Paperback edition.

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.

More About the Author

Brian Preston is a a stay-at-home dad sponging off the old lady, grateful for his sweet and safe existence behind a massive moat called the Salish Sea. That's on the west coast of Canada if you don't know.
Back in the day he wrote non-fiction. Pot Planet was a bestseller in Britain and did alright in North America. Then he wrote a book about Martial Arts that is well worth the read. Hilarious in places.
These days he writes fiction, top-notch middlebrow escapism. He's got a fabulous new book out and is working on the next, or he would be if the kids would give him a moment's peace.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
The book is written in a friendly, conversational style.
Dana Larsen
The book itself read a little fast, with the stops he makes feeling all too brief.
"midnight_toker"
Americans, especially, would do well to catch this bigger picture.
R. Hardy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By R. Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
Thirty years ago, there were plenty of late night delirious conversations about how someday soon you could buy grass at your local supermarket. But pot somehow is a much bigger deal than anyone had thought, a world-wide obsession over a simple weed that millions find fun or useful, and others find perilous. So Brian Preston, a Canadian journalist, decided he would do a worldwide survey of the international marijuana scene. It was a perfect self-assignment: he likes vagabonding, and he likes getting stoned. The result, _Pot Planet: Adventures in Global Marijuana Culture_ (Grove Press) is a hilarious travelogue through smoke filled rooms, with a subtly serious message: "What's more likely to destroy the earth, pot or pollution? And there's a war on pot?"
Preston is a dedicated journalist, or at least he loves his subject so much that he is happy to go to enormous lengths to investigate it. "For much of the research and most of the writing of this book, I was high on marijuana. Now then - it can't be _that_ amotivating." He becomes a judge of the Cannabis Culture Cup, with the difficult task of rating all these strains, and more, in the categories of appearance, fragrance, texture, taste, aftertaste, and stone (and he remarks on the difficulties of evaluating that last category after you have already judged other entrants; he can't, like a wine taster, just spit it out). He has funny stories from all over. "If you want to score anywhere in Asia," Preston advises, "just find a place where they're playing Bob Marley music." In the town of Nimbin, Australia, there are "grass palaces," houses paid for by pot cultivation: "They were hippies; now they're middle class." One wants to franchise pot restaurants in the shape of a giant bong, the Big Bong Burger Bar.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "midnight_toker" on May 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
Having just completed 'Pot Planet', I'd like to say how great this book is. Being an lover of all things ganja, I am so pleased to see someone finally writing about the truths behind the marajuana culture. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
This travelogue/cultural history study is a fast-paced peek into the history and hypocrises of this happy herb. Without being too much of a tour-guide, and more like a buddy you're bumming around the world with, Preston takes us from the sweet, sticky buds of Vancouver, B.C, to the opium-laced weed of the Far East, stopping at places like England, Switzerland, Spain, Austrailia and the marajuana mecca, the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam on the way.
I recommend this book to anyone who is not able to vacation this year - see the world without leaving your couch!
The book itself read a little fast, with the stops he makes feeling all too brief. Having visited some of the places mentioned myself, I felt there is more that could have been said, but as always, time is a factor.
All in all though, this book is finally a true testament to pot-smoking throughout the world, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys this natural plant, in all her splendor.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dana Larsen on September 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
Brian Preston documents his travels as he encounters the people, places and events that make up the core of the world's modern cannabis culture.
Preston's flobal ganja voyage begins in BC, at the first Cannabis Culture Cup in February 2000, held at Marc Emery's home on the Sunshine Coast. From there, Preston travels the world's weedy hotspots, sampling buds and meeting the locals in Nepal, Southeast Asia, Australia, England, Amsterdam, Morocco, BC, and the USA.
Cannabis Culture readers will recognize many of the people who Preston encounters on his travels. In Amsterdam he tokes with Sensi Seeds founder Ben Dronkers, in Australia he hangs at the Nimbin Hemp Embassy and attends their annual Mardi Grass, In California he discusses DEA raids with med-pot icon Dennis Peron. In Vancouver he gets high on buds from Marc Emery, and discusses activism with locals like David Malmo-Levine.
Pot Planet is a perfect snapshot of the people, places and events that make up the global ganja culture during the dawn of the new millennium. The book is written in a friendly, conversational style. It's an easy and enlightening read, and will be enjoyed by both chronic and non-toker alike.
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By Billy Stark on December 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
Pot Planet captivated my interest. As an on-again off-again user, I was fascinated about the different strains of pot that grow around the world and the exotic group of peace-loving and otherwise, lawbiding citizens, in which our author encountered on his global trek.

Our author met my personal friend, Kog, AKA Peter Godfrey, who lives with his wife and family in Australia. Kog's being a part of this creative endeavor brought this reading to a personal level.

If you partake in cannabis, and have curiosity about laws, customs, and people, you should find this book in the must read category.

My congrats to the author for the risks he took and his dedication to getting the word out to end this silly prohibition.
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