By Carolyn Kellogg
6:01 PM EDT, August 8, 2013
Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN has decided that marijuana is not a dangerous drug, but one that should be embraced by the medical establishment -- something authors have known for years.
Gupta, who came out as a pot supporter on CNN's website Thursday, explains the science behind his decision in a CNN special to air Saturday. It's a big turnaround for the neuroscientist, who wrote a piece stating his position against medical marijuana in 2009.
As with anyone who has recently converted, Gupta may want to immerse himself in his newly-discovered culture. To that end, we've come up with a list of books that celebrate the wonders of weed -- because some authors have been with the pot program all along.
"Chronic City" by Jonathan Lethem. This novel about an actor, a doomed astronaut and a rapidly-changing New York features as one of its main characters autodidact Perkus Tooth, a pot aficionado. "It's really just a life habit," Lethem told The Times. "I've known people, and gone through times in my life, when smoking pot wasn't a remarkable choice, it was just daily fuel, fuel for conversation."
"Heart of Dankness: Underground Botanists, Outlaw Farmers, and the Race for the Cannabis Cup" by Mark Haskell Smith. The L.A.-based writer travels the world to discover the people and science that create the world's most delectable pot.
"The Emperor Wears No Clothes: The Authoritative Historical Record of Cannabis and the Conspiracy Against Marijuana" by Jack Herer. An independently published history of U.S. marijuana laws by the man who was known as the country's premiere hemp activist.
"Grow Girl" by Heather Donohue. The star of the hit horror film "The Blair Witch Project" gave up Hollywood to move with her boyfriend to a pot-growing town in Northern California, a place that wasn't as progressive as you might think.
"Budding Prospects" by T.C. Boyle. In this 1984 novel, a longtime loser attempts to strike it big with a massive pot-growing scheme in Northern California -- decades before there was any chance of such a thing being legal.
"Vineland" by Thomas Pynchon. Can there ever be enough books about ill-fated pot-growers in Northern California? This was the first book Pynchon published after his landmark novel "Gravity's Rainbow," after a 17-year hiatus.
"Burning Rainbow Farm: How a Stoner Utopia Went Up in Smoke" by Dean Kuipers. A reported story of a pro-gay, music-loving, libertarian marijuana farm in Michigan than ended in a tragic government raid.
"Cheech and Chong: The Unauthorized Autobiography" by Tommy Chong. A discursive memoir from half of the comic duo that made marijuana stoner-dom mainstream. "I know some of you will thumb through the book and go directly to the end to find out what happens," he writes in a prologue. "Well, don't waste your time. Because that is not the way I write."
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