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Too High to Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution Paperback – July 2, 2013
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"Well-researched.... eye-opening and persuasive."
— Bill Maher, The New York Times Book Review
Praise for Too High to Fail:
"Fine examines how the American people have borne the massive economic and social expenditures of the failed Drug War, which is 'as unconscionably wrong for America as segregation and DDT.' A captivating, solidly documented work rendered with wit and humor."
— Kirkus (Starred Review)
"In his entertaining new book...[Fine] successfully illuminates an unusual world where cannabis growers sing “Happy Birthday” to [friendly law enforcement] while crossing their fingers against the threat of federal raids.This informative book will give even hardened drug warriors pause."
— Publishers Weekly
Praise for Farewell, My Subaru:
“Fine is a…storyteller in the mold of…Douglas Adams. If you’re a fan of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy-style humor — and also looking to find out how to raise your own livestock to feed your ice-cream fetish — Farewell, My Subaru may prove a vital tool.”
— Washington Post
“[Fine] is Bryson funny.”
— Santa Cruz Sentinel
“This is Green Acres for the smart set—a witty and educational look at sustainable living. Buy it, read it, compost it.”
— AJ Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically
“A chuckle or a wry grin is waiting on every page, if not each paragraph. It’s the kind of humor that builds gradually, that sneaks up on you with such stealth that you hardly even realize what a good time you’re having until it’s all over. By the end of Farewell, My Subaru you can think of nothing that would seem like more fun than hanging out at Fine’s ranch, vainly striving to keep his goats from eating the rose bushes. Think James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small — updated as appropriate for the iPod generation.”
"Well-researched.... eye-opening and persuasive." — Bill Maher, The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Doug Fine is the author of two previous books, Not Really an Alaskan Mountain Man and Farewell, My Subaru (a Boston Globe bestseller). He has reported for The Washington Post, Wired, Salon, High Times, Outside, NPR, and U.S. News & World Report. He currently lives in New Mexico, where he relocated his family to research this book.
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The book is NOT propaganda as another reviewer claims, but it is obviously written from the point of view of someone who was interested enough in cannabis to move his family to CA to research it. The title of the book is forthright and explains the viewpoint right from the start. Doug Fine writes in a very honest and straightforward way and I found the book to be extremely interesting and informative.
While written in a journalistic style, you do get that it was really becoming a personal crusade for Doug to bring people to the understanding that prohibition in this country, and the world as a whole, is nothing short of ignorance and misinformation. It reads like a story that takes a lot of side trips to explain facts and fiction about cannabis uses, medicinally and industrially, now as well as throughout the ages. He provides information that enables understanding of how deep the issues of cannabis prohibition run, who the players are on both sides of the issue and what stake they have in this political game. He clearly defines the issue as NOT being liberal vs conservative, but rather a matter of education and the conditioning about the stigma of cannabis use as has been drilled into modern minds over the last 70+ years, (including the author and my ex-hippie self). Generations of Americans have been mislead, and he presents the how and why of it.
The author never mentions partaking in cannabis use, and doesn't come off sounding like "just another stoner" professing their right to smoke weed if they want. Everything presented is well researched and/or observed first-hand. It isn't a book to educate you on the medical use of cannabis. It isn't a "how to" book on growing or using. It IS a book on the economic impact of prohibition and propaganda in America for the last 40+ years. It IS a book that presents the state of cannabis use in America today and offers a very plausible positive scenario of what can happen in the future. It IS a book that explains how many lives have been and are currently being affected by prohibition on a personal level. It IS a book that presents a scenario of how things CAN work well for a society that is well informed, drops the stigma and works together.
While the author is very upbeat in his presentation and predictions for the future and the potential for cannabis legalization worldwide, I was left feeling awfully depressed after finishing this book. But in that same vane I feel that the only people who could possibly NOT realize the damage done by prohibition, and the potential for this "weed" becoming an economic success if legalized and regulated, are the same kind of people who will never overcome racism. Some people can never overcome personal beliefs no matter how much you educate them, but this should still be required reading, (along with Julia Holland's "The Pot Book"), for every law maker in America, although it's not likely since most of them have obviously skipped their history lessons and/or will not face facts about something that is contrary to their personal beliefs.
Doug Fine has a good ear for language and a good eye for detail. He writes clearly and with humor. He is a part of the story but he doesn't make himself the center of the action. He's a bit (and here he may wince) like the "John Mcphee" of dope. The story is written about Mendocino County and how the attitudes towards cannabis have evolved over the years. It has transformed the region, brought it wealth and controversy in equal measures.
For some people, not all, cannabis is a wonder drug. It relieves pain, anxiety and can help with the side effects of other drug treatments. It is also a useful plant in preventative health (and when unheated has NO psychoactive effects whatsoever.) Fine presents a good overview of the crazy and destructive contradictory policies that are playing out in California and around the country. He sees an eventual drug peace. Prohibition does not work. It is an expensive failure that destroys much more than it saves. Prohibition fuels the Mexican drug cartels and for that reason alone it should be ended.
The book is easy to read. The characters come to life. There are photos in the back so you can see the plant he follows from seedling to harvest.
I found out about Doug's book when listening to the c-realm podcast by KMO. Highly recommended and soberly recommended as well.