Martin A. Lee, author of Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD, is coming to Humboldt to sign copies of his latest effort, Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana - Medical, Recreational, and Scientific, detailing the history of Cannabis in America.

Renowned historian Douglas Brinkley hails Smoke Signals as “... an important, serious minded look at the role cannabis has played in American history.” Brinkley agrees with Lee’s premise that the United States laws on cannabis prohibition are “draconian” and highly recommends Smoke Signals. “Every American should read this landmark book.”

Andrew Weil described Acid Dreams in The Nation as “engaging throughout... at once entertaining and disturbing.” The American Journal of Psychiatry said the book contained a “wealth of historical, sociological, and political information,” and Smoke Signals is a worthy follow-up.

Co-founder of New York based media research group F.A.I.R. (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) with Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon, Lee reports on cannabis with the same passion. Putting as much heart, soul and research into this latest effort as his first book, he documents the history of cannabis from its pre-Biblical origins to medicinal and religious use in India, the explosion of the ‘60s youth culture in America, and the continuing travesty of prohibition and the “war on drugs.”

With California’s Proposition 215 leading the way to legal “medicinal marijuana” use in 1996, Lee documents the pioneers at the forefront of this movement, many of whom went to prison for the cause. He focuses on those in the trenches who have been fighting against the failed “war on drugs” while suffering from illness themselves.

Profiles of too many to mention are detailed, including double mastectomy survivor Dr. Mollie Fry and husband, attorney, Dale Schafer; Valerie and Mike Corral (founders of Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana or WAMM); Don Duncan and the creation of Americans for Safe Access (ASA); the Cannabis Action Network; and now deceased Dr. Tod Mikuriya who was hired in the 1960s by the U.S. Government to debunk caannabis as medicine, only to become it’s champion.

Lee documents in a way that’s easy to understand the good, the bad and the ugly truths of how politics have perverted the people’s perception of an effective medicine and a safe recreational substance, packing more information on the subject of Cannabis than the average American has known.

Lee will be reading and speaking at Northtown Books, 957 H St., Arcata, Friday, Nov. 30, 7 p.m. For more information, call 822-2834, or visit www.northtownbooks.com. He will also be speaking at Humboldt State University in the Goodwin Forum located in Nelson Hall East (across from Health Center) on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 3 to 5 p.m.

photo captions:

1. book cover

2. Author Martin A. Lee