Weed, Inc. by Ben Cort
“I’m not putting this together for those so entrenched in the dogma of their own ‘side’ that they will reject anything that confronts the construct through which they view this issue. I’m writing for those of you who are genuinely interested in learning about this complex topic. People who are scratching their heads trying to sift through the news reports to decide what is best for themselves, their families, their states, and their countries. It is for people wrestling with this issue, and for those willing to consider that they may have more to learn.”
Ben Cort, from Longmont, Colorado, spent a decade inside the drug and alcohol addiction treatment field and is now is a consultant to the industry. Cort joined the drug policy conversation at the national level in 2012 as a part of the “No on 64” campaign. Following the amendment’s passage—which changed the Colorado constitution to allow for a statewide drug policy for cannabis—he was appointed to the board of directors of Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). His book Weed, Inc. is a guide to the world of legalized marijuana and discusses topics like environmental concerns, medical concerns, social justice, law enforcement, FDA involvement, and organized crime, among other things.
Weed, Inc. also provides much-needed information on topics many readers may be unfamiliar with, like the concepts of vaping, concentrates, and even the evolution of the cannabis plant. Furthermore, Cort mentions that “It is very interesting . . . how we have evolved in our use of language around THC in the last few years,” a statement which precedes a thorough glossary in the back of the book that helps readers familiarize themselves with the language of legalization and weed culture. Cort also presents readers with a list of Twelve Step resources for recovery from a variety of addictions.
While many of Cort’s declarations may come off to certain readers as inflammatory and even controversial—he acknowledges that stating “I am not concerned with casual adult marijuana use” and “I seriously don’t care if an adult chooses to consume weed” may “piss off” and “frustrate” many readers—he asks readers to understand that, from where he stands, the “commercialization” of marijuana is problematic. For example, Cort writes that he is not only a recovering drug addict and alcoholic, but also “raising three school-aged kids,” “a resident of Colorado living in Boulder County and working in Denver,” and “pretty involved in this issue of marijuana policy both locally and nationally.” What he has seen from the “street-level” prompted him to write this guide to all the relevant issues surrounding marijuana.
Readers will find that Weed, Inc. is thoughtfully and candidly written, filled with personal stories of Cort and his experiences in Colorado (one of the states to legalize marijuana recreationally as well as medically), and backed up with research conducted by Cort on a variety of subjects. Today, when eight states have legalized marijuana recreationally and twenty-nine states and Washington, DC have legalized medical marijuana, is the perfect time for readers to learn about the industry and the plant, engage in the national dialogue, and decide what they believe is best for themselves, their families, and their communities.
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