America's long journey toward legal marijuana

Bruce Barcott became an expert on the cannabis industry while researching and writing “Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America” (Time Books, available Tuesday) — a book that reflects the ways in which many Americans' outlook on the drug has changed in recent years.

Barcott recounts his own marijuana experiences. They didn't go beyond the sort of youthful experimentation that Americans typically leave behind with the rest of campus life when they move on from college and take on real-world adult responsibilities — until Washington state asked voters about legalizing, regulating and taxing recreational marijuana.

A resident of the Seattle area, Barcott found himself reconsidering his initial skeptical stance toward legalization as he, his wife, friends and neighbors debated it. The arguments of those in favor overcame his qualms and he voted for legalization — and then, pondering the ramifications more deeply, he began research that would...

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