Published by High Times Books, It's NORML to Smoke Pot: The 40 Year Fight for Marijuana Smokers' Rights by NORML Founder and Legal Counsel, Keith Stroup, provides the first ever account of the history of NORML's four decade fight for a sane marijuana policy direct from the person who started it all.
From the highs of the early 1970's, to the tumultuous 1980's to early 90's, to legalization in 2012, It's NORML to Smoke Pot will introduce you to the colorful cast of players involved. The book provides you with unparalleled insight into the politics and strategies involved and you'll discover the blood, sweat, and tears that has gone into fighting for the civil liberties of adult cannabis consumers.
Read An Excerpt:
During my first year at NACDL [National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers], I received an unexpected call one day from my old friend Hunter S. Thompson, asking for my help with some legal problems. This was in 1990. Hunter had been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a woman who had been spending time at his house, as a journalist and as a guest. The relationship had soured, and she fled, called the police and claimed that Hunter had assaulted her, amongst other drug-related claims.
When Hunter called me, he was rather cryptic. He said he was in trouble and needed my help. I asked how I could help, and he asked if I could come out to Owl Farm so he could fill me in. I was flattered that Hunter was calling me for help, and I always enjoyed any excuse to return to Owl Farm, so I jumped on a plane to Aspen.
When I landed, I called Hunter and told him I had arrived. He said to come directly out to the farm, so I jumped into a taxi (this was when the local taxi company was known, appropriately enough, as "Mellow Yellow Taxi").
When I got to the farm, I paid the taxi driver, sent him away, and called Hunter to let him know I was there. But Hunter wasn't answering. After waiting a couple of minutes, I started to climb over the gates, past the two vulture sculptures with red glassy eyes on either side of the entrance, intending to walk up to the house and ring the doorbell.
As I started to climb the gates, a security alarm went off. Lights and a siren sounded, and Hunter came running out of the house with an automatic rifle pointed at me, yelling, "Who the fuck is out there? I'm going to shoot your ass off!"
I screamed, "Hunter, It's me. Keith. I just spoke with you a few minutes ago and you said to come on out. Put the fucking gun down!"
Hunter broke into a big grin, lowered the gun, and said, "Oh hell, Keith, come on in." He had a twinkle in his eye. I always presumed that he was playing with me, that he wasn't really going to shoot my ass off, but I was never certain. The possibility of danger made any visit to Owl Farm a special experience, but that time was a little more intense than I was accustomed to. Read more...
Praise for It's NORML to Smoke Pot:
"This is the story of NORML, the oldest and most effective of the organizations dedicated to the reform of marijuana laws. It is told in a lively and engaging manner by its founder and leader, Keith Stroup, who has been battling this destructive prohibition for more than 40 years. More than providing an excellent history of the tortured arrival of marijuana into contemporary American culture, it is also a chronology of fascinating experiences and remarkable people Stroup encountered on this crusade." - Lester Grinspoon, M.D. (Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School)
A terrific review of the marijuana legalization movement over the last 40 years in America, from the person who has been at the center of it all, NORML Founder Keith Stroup. - Willie Nelson
As America is nearing ever closer to ending the prohibition on marijuana, the story of that fight is the story of NORML. And the story of NORML is the story of its founder, Keith Stroup. Keith is a lawyer who has dedicated his career to defending an ideal: that the mature adult use of marijuana is a civil liberty. If you believe in the principle of civil liberties, then Keith Stroup is a true American hero. Read this book and you’ll see why. – Rick Steves, travel writer, public television producer and host