“A gimlet-eyed and often hilarious account of the author’s round-the-world reefer safari . . . A surprisingly clear-headed view of potheads worldwide” (The New Yorker).
In Pot Planet, journalist Brian Preston sets out on a global ganja safari to explore strange new cannabis cultures, to seek out new growers, activists, and other reefer revolutionaries . . . and to boldly get baked with each of them.
Preston’s journeys take him across every strata of pot cultivation and enjoyment. In the Canadian Kootenays, he meets hemp farmers struggling to harvest their crop on the fringes of legitimacy. In Cambodia and Morocco, he explores the final frontiers of Third World weed enthusiasts. In northern California, he takes a clear-eyed look at the medicinal marijuana movement, seeing both its promises and its problems. In England, Switzerland, and Spain, he observes grudging governments catching up to public tolerance. And at the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, he joins in the raucous multiday tasting competition and celebration at the international summit of the best breeders, growers, and connoisseurs in the world. Part investigative travelogue, part cultural history, part polemic for the unfettered enjoyment of nature’s most perfect and pleasing herb, Pot Planet is an unforgettable odyssey into the multifaceted world of hemp, full of wit, insight, and inspiration.
“Fun to read, gallops along and, should you like to embark on such an odyssey yourself, might even serve as a guide . . . [or] an intoxicated mystery tour.” —Salon
“A marvelously entertaining, well-written and probing look at the world though marijuana . . . Throughout, Preston proves himself to be both an intrepid traveler and a fine storyteller.” —Publishers Weekly
For this adventurous travelogue, freelance journalist Preston (a contributor to Rolling Stone, Details and Vogue) literally smoked his way around the world, investigating marijuana culture in the U.S. and Europe as well as in places as far away as Nepal, Morocco, Australia and Southeast Asia. Although the idea of a journalist smoking himself across the globe might sound like the kind of lightweight assignment dreamed up at a High Times office party, the book, based mostly on Preston's extensive travels, is a marvelously entertaining, well-written and probing look at the world through marijuana, from the plant itself to the subculture of peoples who smoke it (an estimated 200 million worldwide), grow it, sell it and outlaw it. Throughout, Preston proves himself to be both an intrepid traveler and a fine storyteller. He effortlessly weaves tales humorous and harrowing, vividly rendering his environs and introducing readers to an array of fascinating characters, from growers in Vancouver to activists in London and a variety of guides and acquaintances in exotic locales. A copious researcher, he is equally at ease detailing plant science or the evolution of Amsterdam's drug policies. To his credit, Preston avoids introducing any sort of legalization polemic until a final, brief chapter, which is an unfortunate addition. His musings at the book's end only interfere with any conclusions readers themselves might be expected to draw. Still, for those who share an affinity with Preston's subject, this excellent book will be devoured like a tray of brownies.