In the beginning, God populated the planet with lush foliage. Then he gave us the sweet leaf and it was good…real
good. And thus the weed of wonder begat Louis Armstrong…who begat Cheech and Chong…who begat Jeff Spicoli…who begat Snoop Dogg…and, well, uh, man, who’s got the Twinkies?
In Pot Culture, readers find out everything they wanted to know about marijuana, but were too stoned to ask. An easy, breezy and entertaining read, this reference guide belongs on your bookshelf right next to that hollowed-out Bible that holds your one-hitter.
Compiled by a writer for Entertainment Weekly and a former editor of High Times, the text is broken down into several sections, all generously illustrated with photos.
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The encyclopedia offers definition of must-know stoner terms like bogart, cottonmouth, Bob Marley and Maui Wowie. Breakout articles include such important areas as “Stoner Etiquette 101” (pass to the left!), “A Guide to Rolling Papers,” “Stoner Colleges,” “Famous Pot Busts” and “Keeping Your Buds Fresh.” And there are also plenty of guides to the best in stoner music, movies, TV, destinations and jam bands.
But perhaps the funniest sections are the celebrity interviews and “how-to’s” done exclusively for the book. Superbad’s Jonah Hill stars in a pictorial on how to make an apple bong, model/stony Brady wife Adrianne Curry offers tips on how to hide pot smell, and Redman shows the proper way to roll a blunt—important tips all. Finally, singer Melissa Etheridge discusses how smoking medical marijuana saved her a lot of pain while going though chemotherapy.
One drawback to Pot Culture is that to even the most casual of stoners, much of the information is already known and superfluous (do we really need to be reminded to start Dark Side of the Moon after the third roar of the MGM lion?) and that some of the music references are not quite accurate. But overall, the book is a fine summation of the wonders of weed and how it permeates our wider pop culture. Toke up! – Bob Ruggiero
Pot Culture: The A-Z Guide to Stoner Language and Life, by Shirley Halperin & Steve Bloom, 224 pp., $19.95, Harry N. Abrams