Why I Wrote “Reefer Gladness”
Aside from not wanting to repeat myself, I sought a subject that’s moving to the forefront of our ongoing cultural conversation, a subject about which people feel strongly, even if they’re not sure why. And I wanted a subject about which I could add something new to the dialogue.
For nearly 40 years I assiduously abstained from marijuana. I believed the lies. I was frightened. Then I decided to see for myself what everyone was so concerned about.
What I discovered was a plant that seemed in many ways to be Nature’s gift to the human brain. It had many powerful effects on me, but I was struck by the main one: Cannabis made me feel better. Better about life. Better about myself. Better about my billions of brothers and sisters. Cannabis made me feel well. Cannabis did what all the FDA-approved stuff was supposed to accomplish, and without toxins or deleterious side-effects. If that isn’t the definition of a “miracle drug,” the pharmaceutical industry is spending billions of dollars chasing the wrong dream.
Since I live in the enlightened state of California, I’m able to enjoy marijuana openly and without shame. I realize, though, that millions of others can’t. Some of these non-violent and utterly harmless citizens have been unjustly incarcerated. Some of them have had their lives wrecked because of ignorance and cruelty. By writing a book that celebrates marijuana and treats it as a subject worthy of intelligent discussion, I’m hopeful that our ongoing cultural conversation will soon find truth and reason triumphing over lies and hatred.
Marijuana is good. I’m glad I know that now. And I hope readers of Reefer Gladness will make their own discoveries.