Synopses & Reviews
Alfred Ryan Nerz is a Yale-educated author, journalist, and TV producer. He is also a longtime pot smoker who wanted to better understand the drugs use and abuse in the United States. Marijuanamerica is the story of his trek across the country, where he encounters an eclectic and eccentric group of dealers and users, medicinal marijuana advocates and legalization opponents, and even ends up apprenticing to a major grower-distributor. Along the way, he asks the questions: Are Americans becoming more dependent on marijuana physically, spiritually, financially? Should we legalize it? Does he need to quit? Entertaining and illuminating, Marijuanamerica is one man's attempt to humanize some very hot-button topics and learn something about himself along the way.
Alfred Ryan Nerz is a Yale-educated author, journalist, and TV producer. He s also a longtime marijuana enthusiast who has made it his mission to better understand America s long-standing love-hate relationship with our favorite (sometimes) illegal drug. His cross-country investigation started out sensibly enough: taking classes at a cannabis college, hanging out with a man who gets three hundred pre-rolled joints per month from the federal government, and visiting the world s largest medical marijuana dispensary. But after connecting with a mysterious friend of a friend, his journey took an unexpected turn and he found himself embedded with one of the largest growers and dealers on the West Coast. He quickly transformed from respectable journalist into an underworld apprentice surrounded by pit bulls, exotic drugs, beanbags full of cash, and trunks full of weed. But while struggling to navigate the eccentric characters and rampant paranoia of the black market, he maintained enough equanimity to explore a number of vital questions: Is marijuana hurting or helping us? How is it affecting our lungs, our brains, and our ambitions? Is it truly addictive, and if so, are too many of us dependent on it? Should we legalize it? Does he need to quit? As entertaining as it is illuminating, Marijuanamericais one man s attempt to humanize the myriad hot-button topics surrounding the nation s worst-kept secret our obsession with weed while learning something about himself along the way. Advance praise for Marijuanamerica
This book is so entertaining, I want to roll it up and smoke it. Ryan Nerz takes us on a delightfully weird and educational journey that includes crazed pharmacists, a guy named Buddha Cheese, and an interstate road trip with a trunk full of pot.
A. J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically
has it all: danger, suspense, nuts-and-bolts reportage, laugh-out-loud dialogue, gritty characters, sociological dissection, and hella deep thoughts. Nerz has talent to burn; this is participatory journalism at its finest.
Davy Rothbart, author of My Heart Is an Idiot
, creator of Found Magazine
, frequent contributor to This American Life
What a long, strange trip it's been for Ryan Nerz, whose wild tales and antics are the stuff stoner lore is made of. But in looking at how far Marijuana has come, he also poses the tough questions every stoner inevitably asks. Ryan's journey is one worth taking.
, author of Pot Culture
About the Author
Alfred Ryan Nerz is a freelance journalist whose pieces have appeared in Esquire, the Village Voice, and Time Out New York. In addition, he has written for NPR and produced television shows on Spike TV and the Biography channel. He lives in Brooklyn.