This book rides a fine line. The author finds a balance between mimicking Hunter S. Thompson's style and providing interesting facts and insight that you generally wouldn't find in "gonzo" journalism. I don't really like having to evoke the connotations of gonzo or Hunter S. Thompson (I'm a fan but lets not pretend he was a good journalist) but the connection will inevitably be made and is written, explicitly, into the very first few pages of this book. However, by the time you're a few pages in and you get past the Fear and Loathing reference the style has probably already drawn you in. Alfred Ryan Nerz's personal story and narrative perspective on his journey and meta-commentary on his interviews make the book flow.
The book, obviously, is pro-regulation but Nerz's insight and consistent references to scientific studies and historical and anecdotal evidence afford him room to accurately critique both self-righteous stoners and irrational prohibitionists while taking all of it (mostly) seriously.
I loved this book. It was very informative about the history, current situation, and laws regarding pot, and done in a very readable and exciting way. Ryan Nerz is a very good writer and his involvement in the shady California pot growing community, which grows and sells for legal medical purposes and illegal recreational purposes, was beyond exciting. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the "drug war" in this country, regardless of your feelings about it. It just might change your mind.
Entertaining and provocative. Unlike many related books, this tells a story of the author's relationships with people in the weed growing business...which do not all end well. From my limited contact with similar characters years ago, I felt it rang true when it came to capturing the lifestyle of modern domestic growers. A great red.
Nerz immediately hooks the reader with his opening story of driving a trunkful of weed across I-80. This suspenseful moment is the highlight of the book. Afterward it tapers off and seems to float aimlessly through his encounters with drug dealers, growers, and other marijuana insiders. He fills the reader in with hilarious footnotes, which bring levity and entertainment though some of the duller moments in the book. He gives a relatively balanced (definitely pro-legalization/decriminalization) look into American drug policy. Overall it was worth the read.