by David Downs
One of the nation's most popular new marijuana book authors, Doug Fine, swings into the Bay Area this week for a series of book readings, signings and fundraisers to drum up publicity for Too High to Fail; maybe go check him out.
Talk show host and noted legalization proponent Bill Maher penned a fawning review of Fine's book in the New York Times Sunday Book Review. That Maher plug has become the diamond in a jeweled crown of publicity for the Penguin title. Fine has done Conan, and frickin' Michael Pollan tweeted him up, calling Too High a “very important book”.
“That's like a hero acknowledging my existence,” Fine said.
Fine drinks the Kool-Aid in NorCal, and sees Mendocino County's legal system of cannabis plant permits as the first signs of a coming “drug war peace." Using a bunch of publicly available information, he makes a personal, passionate and economic case for beginning to end the drug war with the legalization of pot. Then the feds shut down Mendocino's program.
“The drug war is bad for America, and ending it could be huge,” he said. "It's not a college stoner issue. It really matters."
Coming out as a pot legalizer wasn't easy, the veteran journalist told Legalization Nation. “I discussed it with family and closest friends and I got mixed advice. Some close friends said, 'Oh my god, you're going to be stigmatized forever'.”
But Michael Pollan isn't stigmatized for similar beliefs in The Botany of Desire, Fine concluded.
Pitched at mainstream America, the book has gotten the Penguin publicity machine's support at the highest levels, he said. “They've been behind it 100 percent of the way. They put the joint on the cover.”
The risk appears to have paid off, as the book has gotten massive attention.
"I'm starting to get the crazies on both sides contacting me on this, but this is war and I've entered into the thick of it," he said.
San Francisco, CA.
Wednesday, Aug. 22, 7:30 p.m.
1644 Haight St.
The Capitola Book Cafe
Thursday, Aug. 23, 7:30 p.m.
1475 41st Ave.
Harborside Health Center
Friday, Aug. 24, 2 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 25, 6:30 pm
319 Kasten St.
A Benefit for the Emerald Growers Association
Sunday, Aug. 26, 5:00 pm
Saturday Afternoon Club