The first in-depth look at the burgeoning legal cannabis industry and how the “new green economy” is shaping our country
The nation’s economy is in trouble, but there’s one cash crop that has the potential to turn it around: cannabis (also known as marijuana and hemp). According to Time, the legal medicinal cannabis economy already generates $200 million annually in taxable proceeds from a mere two hundred thousand registered medical users in just fourteen states.
But, thanks to Nixon and the War on Drugs, cannabis is still synonymous with heroin on the federal level even though it has won mainstream acceptance nationwide.
ABC News reports that underground cannabis’s $35.8 billion annual revenues already exceed the combined value of corn ($23.3 billion) and wheat ($7.5 billion). Considering the economic impact of Prohibition—and its repeal—Too High to Fail isn’t a commune-dweller’s utopian rant, it’s an objectively (if humorously) reported account of how one plant can drastically change the shape of our country, culturally, politically, and economically.
Too High to Fail covers everything from a brief history of hemp to an insider’s perspective on a growing season in Mendocino County, where cannabis drives 80 percent of the economy (to the tune of $6 billion annually). Investigative journalist Doug Fine follows one plant from seed to patient in the first American county to fully legalize and regulate cannabis farming. He profiles an issue of critical importance to lawmakers, media pundits, and ordinary Americans—whether or not they inhale. It’s a wild ride that includes swooping helicopters, college tuitions paid with cash, cannabis-friendly sheriffs, and never-before-gained access to the world of the emerging legitimate, taxpaying “ganjaprenneur.”
In his chaotic and entertaining new book, Fine (Farewell, My Subaru) examines the potential of the legal cannibis industry via profiles of cannabis farmers, law enforcement officials, medical marijuana patients, and a cannabis plant during the 2011 growing season in Mendocino County, Calif. Cannabis is all but fully legal in the county (though not under federal law), and Fine uses the county s new experiment to advocate for an America where cannabis is legal, regulated, and taxed. Relying primarily on an economic argument, he hammers home his point that the U.S. has wasted 40 years and vast amounts of money on the war on drugs. He suggests ways in which cannabis can fix government budgets and drive the economic engine. Industrial hemp, he posits, could revive struggling farms, and fermented cannabis could lead to energy independence. Fine halfheartedly reports on potential downsides of legalization, but gives precedence to distinctive characters like Tomas Balogh, a cheerful farmer, and a gruff-but-fair Mendocino ordinance enforcer, Sgt. Randy Johnson. Though sometimes Fine packs in too many people, he successfully illuminates an unusual world where cannabis growers sing Happy Birthday to Sergeant Johnson while crossing their fingers against the threat of federal raids. This informative book will give even hardened drug warriors pause.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A must for any one interested or curious
Great read, super informative
Seriously well researched and written book - recommend this to those that know lots on the topic right down to those just getting going with their research. Thank you Doug for a wonderful text.