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Smoke Signals Poised to Heat Up the Marijuana Debate

Sam Sabzehzar 2012-06-27 0 comments

Major new book by the author of Acid Dreams will debut at the Seattle Hempfest in mid-August

June 27, 2012  |  Published in

Smoke Signals, a groundbreaking work by Martin A. Lee, is a panoramic, character-driven, social history that explains why marijuana affects so many aspects of American life.

Although cannabis possession is illegal under federal law, half of all Americans have tried the herb and tens of millions use it regularly for therapeutic and recreational purposes.

Published by Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Smoke Signals tells the story of a grassroots movement that began in the 1960s and grew into a widespread populist revolt against prohibition. The great leap forward came in 1996, when California voters shocked the political and medical establishments by passing Proposition 215, which authorized doctors to approve marijuana use by patients. Similar laws have since been enacted in 16 other states and the District of Columbia.

Smoke Signals describes the burgeoning of a multi-billion-dollar industry, and exposes collusion by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to undermine the will of the electorate.

“The big, untold story,” according to Lee, an award-winning investigative journalist, “is that there have been more than a million documented medical users and no deaths and no pattern of health problems attributable to medical marijuana.”

Smoke Signals draws attention to underreported scientific breakthroughs, including the discovery of a non-psychoactive component of marijuana, cannabidiol (CBD), which protects the brain against alcohol poisoning, stimulates adult stem cell growth, prevents the onset of diabetes, and shrinks malignant tumors — without causing a “high.”  By mining the plant’s treasure trove of active ingredients, medical researchers have developed promising treatments for cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, chronic pain, and many other conditions that are beyond the reach of conventional cures.

Science, politics, law, poetry, humor, business, music, sports, colorful personalities – Lee is conversant with every aspect of the marijuana story and intertwines them masterfully.

Historian Douglas Brinkley said of Smoke Signals: “This is an important, serious-minded look at the role cannabis has played in American history. It tackles the hard issues of marijuana prohibition with keen insight and righteous indignation. I agree with Lee’s central premise that our marijuana laws are draconian. Every American should read this landmark book!”

Whether or not Barack Obama takes Brinkley’s advice, Smoke Signals will make it harder for federal and state officials to ignore the demands of the medical marijuana movement and broader legalization efforts.

Smoke Signals is poised to heat up the marijuana debate at a pivotal moment when legalization measures are on the ballot in several states and the medical marijuana community is reeling from federal pressure.

“A ripping read, thoroughly researched, Smoke Signals will help inform the current debate and hopefully hasten the demise of prohibition.” — David Bronner, CEO, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps

Martin A. Lee is the author of several books, including Acid Dreams, his acclaimed social history of LSD. He is the co-founder of FAIR, the national media watch group, and director of Project CBD, an information service that reports on cannabis science and therapeutics. Lee is also a contributing editor of O’Shaughnessy’s, the journal of cannabis in clinical practice, and a writer for

Join the author at the Seattle Hempfest for the book launch, August 17-19, 2012.

Lee will be featured as a speaker at Hempfest. Signed copies of Smoke Signals will be available at the Project CBD information booth.

Take a peak at the Table of Contents.

Sample a few excerpts from Smoke Signals.

Advance order a copy of Smoke Signals.

Smoke Signals will also be available as an audio-book and an e-book.

To arrange media interviews and public speaking events with the author of Smoke Signals, contact:  Martin A Lee

For a schedule of the author’s speaking and book-signing appearances, click here: Public Speaking

“Martin A. Lee compiles enormous research into many disciplines to produce a smooth-flowing, vigorous text in which each word rings true.” — Hemp historian Michael Aldrich