by David Downs
True story: An elementary school teacher we know instructed her students to research and write about their names. One kid ran into a problem researching her name on school computers, though, because her name is "Sativa". The teacher had no idea what it meant, no idea how to deal with the girl, and really knew very little about cannabis — making both of them a good candidate for "It's Just a Plant."
No, it doesn't encourage kids to smoke pot, you animal. It's an informative story about the plant in children's book format with awesome art — perfect for curious adults, as well as parents braving that discussion for the first time.
In the story, a kid name Jackie catches her parents smoking the reefer. So, Jackie's parents take her to meet a farmer, a doctor, a cop, and others to gain some perspective on one of mankind's oldest and most widely used medicines.
"Marijuana,” said Dr. Eden, “is used for many reasons. Like many plants, it can be medicinal. It can heal pain, it helps some people relax, and it calms the stomach to help sick people eat better.”
“Will it help me if I use it?” asked Jackie.
“Marijuana is for people who can use it responsibly. It gives some people joy, but like everything, it can be used too much. I don’t recommend it for everyone. It is a strong medicine — not good for you right now.”
When Jackie runs into a cop:
“Young lady,” answered the policeman, “These men were smoking what I call grass, and that is against the law.”
“Grass isn’t against the law!” said Jackie.
“Hmm,” he said. “Let me tell you...”
"It's Just a Plant" covers the history of prohibition and drug law reform as well. The author notes that arrests for pot have skyrocketed without a drop in the drug's availability or use. “The current model of prohibition is not working”, he writes.