“John Hudak’s Marijuana: A Short History is an indispensable guide to understanding this country’s tortured relationship with marijuana. It deftly chronicles decades of federal policies that ultimately led to the War on Drugs, as well as the ensuing backlash that has reshaped marijuana policies across the country in recent years.”
—Paul Demko, cannabis editor, Politico
Millions of Americans have used marijuana at some point in their lives, yet it remains a substance shrouded by myth, misinformation, and mystery. Over the past decades, marijuana has become a remarkable social, economic, and even political force, with a surprising range of advocates and opponents. In Marijuana: A Short History, John Hudak, one of the best-known and most-cited experts on marijuana legalization, offers an up-to-date, cutting-edge look at how a plant with a tumultuous history has emerged from the shadows of counterculture and illegality.
Public policy toward marijuana, especially in the United States, is changing rapidly. This new edition of Marijuana: A Short History provides a brief yet compelling narrative of the racial, social, and cultural history of marijuana but also tells us how a once-vilified plant has been transformed into a mainstream issue. Focusing on politics, media, racial justice, government, and education, Hudak explains why public policy has changed, and what that change might mean for marijuana’s future place in society.
Praise for the First Edition
“Clear. Concise. Compelling. Marijuana: A Short History is a great crash course on the history of cannabis. This is a wonderful book for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the current political landscape, as well as the players and events that have shaped it.”
—Steph Sherer, executive director, Americans for Safe Access
“A fresh, sharp, and rigorous look at America’s perverse relationship with pot. John Hudak smashes taboos and nonsense on every page.”
—Bruce Barcott, author, Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana
John Hudak is deputy director of the Center for Effective Public Management and a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is also author of Presidential Pork: White House Influence over the Distribution of Federal Grants (Brookings).