In an age of fancy drugs that make you happy or hard or want to dance all night, old Mary Jane has been displaced from the pharmaceutical spotlight. But if Highlights: An Illustrated History of Cannabis has any predictive merits, marijuana will soon be making a respectable (and possibly even legal) return to public attention. The authors Carol Sherman, Andrew Smith, and Erik Tanner treat weed first and foremost as “a pop-culture artifact,” with breezy, trivia-riddled chapters dealing with its influence on artists (the Marx Brothers), politicians (George Washington), and both ancient and modern history (no, not the Vikings, too!). Particularly amusing are the collected covers of dime novels from the 1940s and ’50s such as It Ain’t Hay and Reefer Girl showing lots of curling smoke, cleavage, and Grim Reapers lurking in the background. And I thought smoking pot made you paranoid.
Highlights: An Illustrated History of Cannabis