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Marijuana by John Hudak

Text Synopsis

book cover for MarijuanaBroken into five parts, Hudak’s text examines the political, sociological, and economic impacts of marijuana on American society. He begins by looking at the botany of the plant itself, moves into an examination of the political history, investigates marijuana’s public reception, examines the criminal justice impacts of the legislative attempts to control it, and looks to the future of the plant as a medical, recreational, and economic force.

Why This Text Works

It’s a hot button issue with plenty of opportunities to activate real-life prior knowledge. Students have opinions on the topic from the moment they glance at the book’s cover, and those opinions often bring to mind interesting and important experiences in their own lives and the lives of people they know. It’s a topic that matters to many students, and it’s one that has lots of contemporary traction as the topic comes up again and again in current news stories.

It also works because it gives easy access to a range of important types of reading and thinking. Students end up discussing history, sociology, medicine, ethics, philosophy, and criminal justice through the lens of marijuana’s impact on American society. The book is a multidisciplinary touchstone for many different ways of thinking.

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