Emily Dufton - Grass Roots: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Marijuana in America
Dufton’s comprehensive history of the legal status of marijuana in the U.S. looks at both sides of the debate, charting the concerns and strategies of both pro- and anti-pot activists. The account is especially timely now, with eight states having legalized marijuana use and several more scheduled to vote on the issue in 2018. While many advocates feel continued success is assured, Dufton, who holds a doctorate in American studies, reminds us that the nation was at a similar stage in the 1970s. A dozen states had decriminalized the drug, but a new campaign, led by Nancy Reagan, persuaded the nation to “just say no,” and the drug war intensified. To avoid another backlash, today’s pro-legalization activists focus on the medical necessity of cannabis and the racial bias of aggressive drug laws, but the outcome of the debate is still open.