Cannabis Agenda Reading List

We've discussed several books on our show, including:

Marijuana is Safer (So why are we driving people to drink?) by Steve Fox, Paul Armentano and Mason Tvert

Cannabis: A History by Martin Booth

The Emperor Wears No Clothes: The Authoritative Historical Record of Cannabis and the Conspiracy Against Marijuana

We'll add more books to this list as we discuss them!


Here's a supplementary list of readings that aren't exactly books, but we thought you'd find helpful and interesting.

Here's a great informational source on the ever increasing use of tactical police raids, by Radley Balko

Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America 

Here's a recent report from the Center for Medical Cannabis Research (CMCR) at UC San Diego. Their up to some very good things! This report was submitted to the Legislature and Governor of the State of California on February 17, 2010.

This is a very informative and well written report on the frequently used, yet seldom understood asset forfeiture laws. Definitely worth a read!!

Here's the recently released report from the International Center for Science in Drug Policy. They used US Government data to show how very blatantly cannabis prohibition has failed. It's a good read and, as the title would indicate, makes a great tool for effective debate about cannabis policy related issues.

This is a report produced in collaboration between the California NAACP, and the Drug Policy Alliance. It clearly shows the extreme disparity in cannabis related arrests for African Americans and Latinos in comparison to whites. This is a harsh reality that has no place in our future, and as good a reason as any to get involved and stand up for equal justice.


It is so beneficial, in the big picture, to get involved and be an active voice of reason. When doing so, it is equally important to represent the issues you are passionate about in an effective manner. Here are a few tips to EFFECTIVE advocacy that can help to assure that you are, at the same time: taken seriously, looked at beyond typical stereotypes, and able to deliver your message accurately and with maximum effect.

Tips for EFFECTIVELY advocating for cannabis reform
First of all, be properly prepared to argue such important points. Do your research, make sure that it is the most credible information possible, save your source material.

Don't let your passion get the best of you. Try and stay calm and level headed. Coming off as over-emotional doesn't really make you more convincing or believable, and it hampers your ability to think clearly and to be distinct in your statements. Additionally, allowing your emotions to get the best of you may cause you to exaggerate facts and science based references. (i. e. the claim that cannabis has been used for over 5000 years is true, and we have an objective basis to back that up, yet how often do you hear these figures become exaggerated to "over 7000 years", "over 8000 years", "for 10,000 years!!!"?) This type of blurring of the truth can only serve to diminish credibility and make us look like over-zealous fools. The real facts surrounding cannabis and its myriad of beneficial uses can stand very strongly on their own, they don't don't need us to artificially inflate them, and it serves us no good purpose.      

Always remain diligent in spell checking ANY written material you submit for others to read. This may be an additional hassle, but it is WELL worth it and crucial to delivering an effective response that is both informed and professional. If you want to look intelligent, make sure your writing reflects intelligence. Prohibitionists believe, and like to tout, that cannabis reformers are all a bunch of dumb potheads that just want to do their drugs: we can prove them wrong, and it is important that we take this extra effort.   Completely worthwhile.   

NEVER flame people or write in all caps. When stating the truth, you have the ability to remain controlled; so you should be wise to use it.

Obviously, always stay within the law when fighting within this issue, threats are illegal and can bring you a great deal of legal trouble, besides, we really need you in this fight.

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*   For credible sources, you could start with a simple Google search, but be wary of misinformed sites, even if they are PRO-cannabis. One good place to begin is the site of one Dr. Lester Grinspoon at

Lester Grinspoon is Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. For 40 years, he acted as Senior Psychiatrist at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center.