Federal drug czar Gil Kerlikowske is a little bit perturbed at millions of Californians’ intention to tax and regulate personal possession of cannabis through Prop 19 Nov. 2. The Czar has called for a press conference with celebrity addiction specialist Dr. Drew Wednesday to denounce the 5,000-year-old herbal remedy’s effect on mind and body.
But the government has a seventy-year history of being dishonest about cannabis. Pot’s medical benefits and drawbacks is also the subject of a new book by Dr. Julie Holland, former head of the psychiatric ER at Bellevue Hospital in New York. Dr. Holland is a psychiatrist specializing in drugs and the brain, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, and author of Ecstasy: The Complete Guide. She spent three years researching The Pot Book, a hefty 551-page-primer on the risks and rewards of the plant, written in conjunction with 52 doctors, academics, writers, and thinkers including Michael Pollan, Neal Pollack, and Douglas Rushkoff. Holland heads off another round of Reefer Madness in Los Angeles tomorrow in the Q&A below, edited for length.