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Pot, Inc.: Inside Medical Marijuana, America’s Most Outlaw Industry Hardcover – April 3, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Is legalizing marijuana for medical purposes primarily a cover for increasing access for recreational use, or will legalization chiefly provide medical relief to patients with few other options while also fostering a more open dialog about this controversial substance? Although a number of states now allow marijuana for medical use, it is still illegal under federal law. Citing curiosity as his motive, Campbell (Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History) sought an insider's view into cannabis culture. The author, who lives in Colorado, where medical marijuana is legal under state law, gets approved as a medical user, attends cannabis conventions, studies cannabis horticulture, and interviews advocates and DEA officials to learn more about this way of life. VERDICT With humor (e.g., explaining to his teenage son about the pot growing in their basement and trying to cover the pervasive smell from neighbors) and compassion (e.g., in interviews with patients who have found relief only through marijuana), Campbell provides an absorbing and thought-provoking firsthand look at this hotly debated issue. Recommended." --Library Journal


Praise for FLAWLESS:
"Like a diamond, this true-life caper is clear, colorful, and brilliant." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Fans of caper books and movies will be in seventh heaven here. ...A must-read for true-crime fans." --Booklist (starred review)

About the Author

GREG CAMPBELL is the author of Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History (a Denver Post, Globe & Mail, and Library Journal bestseller), Blood Diamonds: Tracing the Deadly Path of the World's Most Precious Stones (the source material for the Leonardo DiCaprio movie of the same name), and The Road to Kosovo: A Balkan Diary. Campbell is also an award-winning journalist whose his writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal Magazine, The Economist, The San Francisco Times, Paris Match, and The Christian Science Monitor, among others. He lives in Fort Collins, CO.




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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; 1 edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402779259
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402779251
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,337,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Greg Campbell appears to have been the perfect person to write this book, which I read in one gulp, being unable to put it down. He starts out from a neutral, non-partisan position, bringing his curiosity, investigative skills and objectivity as a journalist to the task. Along the way he sorts the truth from the many fictions propagated in the "war on drugs", exposing the racist origins of the current laws. He lays bare the follies and fictions that underlie the whole misbegotten enterprise one by one as he uncovers them, taking the reader along for the ride in his search for the truth. So much of what is "common knowledge" about marijuana is completely unsupported by science, statistics or common sense. I had always assumed that there was some harm in marijuana, and I was surprised to learn about the reams of testimony to the contrary by reliable sources (such as the AMA), and that the Federal government had suppressed this evidence and ignored the recommendations of the experts. So many have been incarcerated and had their lives needlessly ruined for mere possession of a plant that grows naturally on the earth, at great cost to society. It's ironic that cannabis is the largest cash crop in the U.S., for which the government gets zero tax dollars while pouring countless millions down the rat hole of the lost war on drugs. So my questions after reading the book are: (1) What part of the Constitution gives the government the right to dictate what consenting adults consume in the privacy of their own homes as long as they are not harming anyone, even themselves? And (2) what part of a just and compassionate society denies those dying and in terrible pain the one substance that makes their lives bearable? I hope this book is widely read as this is a non-partisan, libertarian issue.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
A caveat to start: I don't enjoy pot myself, it's just not my thing; but I have several disabled/injured friends who swear by the medicinal qualities and so I'm a proponent of legalization. It's a tricky topic, though (how much? to whom? which doctors and for what conditions? how to dispense? driving/blood limits, etc and etc), and my home state of Colorado has been in the forefront of the efforts to figure out all that mess. To which I say: Good! Because someone needs to figure it out. This book does an amazing job of reporting on all sorts of issues, and the writing is just fantastic (funny, wise, honest, real). I highly recommend.
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Format: Hardcover
I have to add a little bit of a disclaimer here. I have been a nurse for 10 years. The last four spent as a hospice nurse. I am well aware of the benefits of cannabis, especially to patients that are struggling with pain, the side effects of chemo, or the myriad of symptoms that occur at the end of life.

So I'm not one that needs to be convinced.

My response to a particular inflammatory and misinformed posting on Facebook was to looked it up myself. And the result was reading this book. In two days.

This book isn't written by a stoner. The author is a journalist. He has written books about the diamond trade. He just happened to live at the epicenter of the "green rush" at the end of 2009 aka Colorado. And this book was written BEFORE full legalization. So it made sense to start here.

The author is hilarious. He uses his own personal experiences with pot (and he is one of those who gets the full blown paranoia) to illustrate his points. After experimenting in his early 20s, he decided it wasn't for him. Which adds more credibility to his stance. His description of how he was helped by cannabis during a severe injury is enough to convince people that cannabis needs to be available in every ER.

The book explains a bit of the history of the outlawing of cannabis. He carefully explains the few government studies that were initiated in the 60s and 70s and were quashed by none other than Richard Nixon. He highlights current cannabis legislation that can lead to hefty jail time for non-violent offenders. Some who weren't even selling it, just using it to ease their pain from disease have spent hard jail time because of their "crime".

He explains what those of us in medicine have known for years.
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Format: Hardcover
Since people who privately smoke pot don't get caught, I've been curious to find out why there's a push to legalize marijuana. Pot, Inc. mixes personal history with actual history in an exciting story of how the author, a journalist, comes to take advantage of lax laws in Colorado to grow marijuana in his basement. He has no problem getting a doctor to prescribe medical marijuana for dubious reasons, relief of back pain caused by a overseas plane flight. The adventure is with the growing, negotiating how to explain to his son and trying not get caught in anything illegal.
Campbell tries to present a balanced story, interviewing both the DEA agent in charge of western states and people in the industry, some vivid characters. The marijuana promoters described in the book, Bruce Perlowin and Bill Platshon, are truly shady figures who do it to make money and for the fun of it. He exposes some of the myths perpetuated by the marijuana business community, such as the debunked conspiracy theory of William Hearst and DuPont to outlaw marijuana in 1937. (Maybe the pot business is revealing the way it thinks, above all--huge profits.) He also describes a Colorado medi-pot patient who grew it in his basement and called a TV station, thus setting himself up for trouble.
Other characters Campbell meets along the way clearly feel they are part of an exciting new movement. Campbell gets swept up excitement of the game, just like routing for a sports team. Those involved have this sensation that they're creating history, something along the lines of women getting the right to vote or the civil rights movement of the 60s. Yet he doesn't present a reason, other than a cousin who died young from a vicious form of cancer and used pot for pain relief before her death.
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