|Public library, Los Angeles|
Every day I get multiple emails from various publicists offering me books to review and talk about here on the old a moon, worn as if it had been a shell or even reality shows that I might be interested in sharing with my readers. The books can be about everything from baby pacifiers to parenting techniques, and my favorite pitched reality show was for a couple having sexual problems. You might wonder how and why these publicists get my name, and I just have no idea other than that they're using some kind of search engine that pulls up my name and affiliation with perverse activities because -- you know -- I'm all about that.
A few months ago, I was asked by some publicist to get a free copy and review a book by former drug czar and family values man/blowhard Bill Bennett. The name of the book, which is now published, is Going to Pot:Why the Rush to Legalize Marijuana is Harming America. That I happen to have met and actually argued with the man himself because of his personal affiliation with someone I know quite intimately (but not perversely), and not only found him as insufferable in real life as he is on television, made the pitch all the more ironic. Dear Suzie, I replied, Clearly, you've been reading my blog and know that this is a perfect match for me and will truly appeal to my readers. Please send me the free copy of the book, and I'll take a look and let you know what I think. The book came a few days later, and it took me all of twenty minutes to skim through the chapters, lingering over the brief few lines about dubious medical claims and then to toss it in the trash. Just the other day, while winnowing through my hundreds of books, I came upon a signed copy of one of his American hero books, and I threw that one, too, into the box headed for the library. May some wealthy white woman doing volunteer work at the library stumble upon it and bring it home to her privileged children smoking pot in their bedrooms and be edified. What I should have done is what a friend suggested: shred em, roll em and smoke em.
This morning, I got another appeal from a publicist asking me to review a book called Marijuana Debunked, that purportedly uses scientific research to argue a case against the legalization of marijuana. To be fair, the gist of the book appears to be that use of marijuana in the teenage years is detrimental to brain development, and we do know this to be so, but the author apparently projects the dire consequences of marijuana use into adulthood and how it takes a toll on people's relationships, finances, careers and personal lives. There's also a section about the deception of medical marijuana laws and how they encourage teenage use. I had read enough when I saw the tired gateway drug bullshit. The name of this book is Marijuana Debunked, and the email enlarges the title and makes the word Marijuana large and green for emphasis. As my friend said, with whom I shared this ridiculous email, What a crock of shit book. You could use that as a review.
I know that I'm a tad biased, but if you're a publicist and reading this blog post (and I seriously doubt you've ever read any of my blog), you need to do your research because I'm not your gal. My daughter's brain and life were ruined by seizures and legal pharmaceutical drugs, yet saved by medical marijuana. I'm perfectly aware that my sons' brains are at the peak of their development, that they should not interfere with that development by smoking marijuana, just as they shouldn't smoke cigarettes, drink beer, have unprotected sex or drag race on Ventura Boulevard. You also need to tell your writers that they should do some research as well. Take a look at the article in a recent New Yorker about the tunnels built from Mexico to the United States, used until quite recently as marijuana laws have eased (and thus removed the profit), to smuggle gargantuan amounts of marijuana into this country (now it's cocaine) to feed the insatiable desire of Americans. Read about what is, essentially, conscripted or even slave labor to build these tunnels and how workers are duped into the work and then killed when it's done. That article is not only well-written but edifying in a way that underscores just how absurd the continued drug war, particularly against marijuana, really is.
You're wasting your money on me, frankly, and filling my inbox up with garbage.
There's an informative pdf file, published by The International Center for Science in Drug Policy, called Using Evidence to Talk about Cannabis that everyone should read and use when people put up these specious arguments. The link to the PDF (that I can't figure how to load) is also in a recent Huffington Post article here..