Brave New Weed

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A book review of Brave New Weed: Adventures into the Uncharted World of Cannabis by Joe Dolce

A book review of Brave New Weed: Adventures into the Uncharted World of Cannabis by Joe Dolce

Stars: ***

HarperWave (2016)
288 pages

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: The former editor-in-chief of Details and Star adventures into the fascinating “brave new world” of cannabis, tracing its history and possible future as he investigates the social, medical, legal, and cultural ramifications of this surprisingly versatile plant.

Pot. Weed. Grass. Mary Jane. We all think we know what cannabis is and what we use it for. But do we? Our collective understanding of this surprising plant has been muddled by politics and morality; what we think we know isn’t the real story.

A war on cannabis has been waged in the United States since the early years of the twentieth century, yet in the past decade, society has undergone a massive shift in perspective that has allowed us to reconsider our beliefs. In Brave New Weed, Joe Dolce travels the globe to “tear down the cannabis closet” and de-mystify this new frontier, seeking answers to the questions we didn’t know we should ask.

Dolce heads to a host of places, including Amsterdam, Israel, California, and Colorado, where he skillfully unfolds the odd, shocking, and wildly funny history of this complex plant. From the outlandish stories of murder trials where defendants claimed “insanity due to marijuana consumption” to the groundbreaking success stories about the plant’s impressive medicinal benefits, Dolce paints a fresh and much-needed portrait of cannabis, our changing attitudes toward it, and the brave new direction science and cultural acceptance are leading us.

Enlightening, entertaining, and thought-provoking, Brave New Weed is a compelling read that will surprise and educate proponents on both sides of the cannabis debate.

Brave New Weed

I don’t smoke but I am familiar with the basics and know people who smoke. My thoughts on marijuana have changed over the years as I have gained knowledge.

This book is for people who:

  • know people who use and want to know more about if it’s wrong/bad or okay/good.
  • Are considering using weed for any reason and want to know more.
  • Already use weed and want to know more
  • Think they know everything about weed (you don’t.)

This book goes in-depth into the history of weed as well as the history of how it became an illegal drug and thought of as being as dangerous as cocaine or heroine. It’s not just about history though.

Joe Dolce was not a regular user when he started this book. He had used before but not in years. So this is not a book written by a “stoner.” The author did his research to be sure. He travelled the world and interviewed tons of people. He sampled different types of cannabis in different forms and even stopped using it at the end to make sure his mind was fully clear when finalizing his thoughts.

Weed was legalized in my country of Canada since the book was published. We are the second country to legalize weed for recreational and medical use. This of course isn’t covered in the book but he does talk about the US states that have legalized it: California and Colorado.

He debunks myths and answers questions you would never have thought of on your own. Remember I said the book is not just about history? Well it’s a lot of the science too. He explains (or lets others explain) how the endocannabinoid system works in our bodies. Specifically how cannabis works with it to produce healing effects. I’m no good at explaining it but it’s covered well.

The book is part history, part science, part health, part ecology, part legal and part sociology. The author does a good job covering all the aspects. There were a lot of tough words, even for me, so keep a dictionary or google near by.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.