Reefer Madness A History of Marijuana

Larry Sloman; Introduction by William Burroughs; Afterword by Michael Simmons

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

472 Pages



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Reefer Madness, a contemporary classic, is the popular social history of marijuana use in America.

Beginning with the hemp farming of George Washington, author Larry "Ratso" Sloman traces the fascinating story of our nation's love-hate relationship with the resilient weed in question. Here we find antiheroes such as Allen Ginsberg, Robert Mitchum (the first Hollywood actor busted for pot), Louis Armstrong (who smoked grass every day), the Beatles, and other rapscallions standing up for, supporting, smoking, and politicizing the manifold bounties of marijuana.

With a new afterword by Michael Simmons, who has written for Rolling Stone, LA Weekly, and High Times on the path and progress of the hemp movement as well as the importance of medical marijuana, Reefer Madness is "the most objective [and] definitive book ever written on pot" (Pitt News).


Praise for Reefer Madness

"Reefer Madness expertly and entertainingly charts the course of the killer weed from Colonial hemp crops to the present proliferation of pot as the biggest underground industry since bootleg booze."—Playboy

"Ounce of ounce, Reefer Madness packs more highs than a pound of sinsemilla."—Frank Fioramonti, NORML board of directors

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

Part 1Grass RootsMEXICAN FAMILY GO INSANE Five Said to Have Been Stricken by Eating Marihuana 
Mexico City, July 5--A widow and her four children have been driven insane by eating the Marihuana. plant, according to doctors, who say that there is no hope of saving the children's lives and that the mother will be insane for the rest of her life.The tragedy occurred while the body of the father, who had been killed, was still in a hospital.The mother was without money to buy other food for the children, whose ages range from 3 to 15, so they gathered some herbs and vegetables
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  • Larry Sloman; Introduction by William Burroughs; Afterword by Michael Simmons

  • Larry Sloman, a.k.a. "Ratso," is a Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude graduate in sociology. He has written for Rolling Stone and served as editor-in-chief of High Times and National Lampoon. Sloman collaborated with Howard Stern on the bestselling Miss America and Private Parts, and is also the author of a biography of Abbie Hoffman. He lives in New York City.