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Marijuana Nation: One Man's Chronicle of America Getting High: From Vietnam to Legalizationby Roger Roffman
Synopses & Reviews
Roger Roffman first discovered marijuana while serving as a US Army officer in Vietnam. From these seemingly innocuous beginnings, Roffman has been fascinated by marijuana, as a researcher, scholar, therapist, activist, and user. Ever since America's youth first marched in opposition to the war in Vietnam, pot's popularity has periodically ebbed and surged. Calls for greater, fewer, or no marijuana penalties also have swung on their own pendulum. From lobbying in Washington, to talking to doctors and nurses in oncology wards, and watching his brother struggle with addiction, Roffman has experienced the layered and complex relationship Americans have with marijuana first-hand. With one foot on each side of the fence, at times feeling at odds with both camps, Roffman is on a quest to challenge those who insist we think of marijuana as a weapon of mass destruction, as well as those who would have us see it as a harmless source of pleasure and relief.
"In this nuanced book, Roffman's personal story intertwines with the raucous, contradictory history of cannabis since the 1960s. As a young social work officer in Vietnam, he counsels war-traumatized, self-medicating soldiers; challenges the military's hard line against mental health issues and marijuana; smokes his first joint; and conducts studies on soldier drug use, a study commissioned and then suppressed by the army. As a graduate student at U.C.-Berkeley, he experiences the transcendent sensuality of getting high, develops a decriminalization policy, and questions his beliefs when confronted with skeptical recovering heroin addicts and his brother's drug abuse. And throughout his career as an academic in Seattle (he is a professor emeritus of social work at the University of Washington), as he becomes a prominent promoter of decriminalization and an illicit marijuana provider to cancer patients, gives up pot-smoking, and sets up a counseling program for marijuana dependence, Roffman struggles to simultaneously raise awareness of potential dangers while advocating for a saner legal response. Despite a bland prose style, Roffman depicts a personal history as tumultuous as the history of the herb that's been his lifelong focus, and his refreshing insistence on acknowledging the complicated truth about marijuana may provoke both pot-lovers and prohibitionists to question their assumptions. 16 pages of images. Agent: Peter Riva, International Transactions." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
As public attitudes about pot undergo rapid change, Roger Roffman's portrait of marijuana in America rises above punditry and rhetoric
In the midst of a “war on drugs” with half-truths, billions of misspent dollars, and futile incarcerations, Roger Roffman’s portrait of marijuana in America rises above punditry and rhetoric.
About the Author
Roger Roffman is a Professor Emeritus of Social Work at the University of Washington and has been part of a federally-funded, twenty-five year study/counseling initiative for marijuana dependent teens and adults.
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