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Book Review: The Big Bag of Weed
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Adams Media: Big Bag of WeedThe Big Bag of Weed
Weed: 420 things you didn’t know (or remember) about Cannabis
Written by I.M. Stoned
The Quotable Stoner
Written by Holden Blunts
The Danktionary
Written by Will B. High
Adams Media
Release date: October 15, 2011
Cover Price: $19.95

Fittingly wrapped in a large Ziploc baggie, The Big Bag of Weed is both a delightful trilogy of gateway books for the novice stoner and a buzz-inducing trip down memory lane for the veteran pothead. Written with the hip clarity of Chuck Klosterman and the accomplished vernacular of Snoop Dog, these three booklets are a hilarious and informative tribute to the richness and immensity of pot culture in America.

Authorship is variously attributed to Holden Blunts, Will B. High, and I.M. Stoned, the kind of Hancocks you’ve encountered on bathroom stalls. Don’t worry though. The quality of writing elevates it far above the juvenile and introductory material makes sure that these books aren’t just for the chronic weed smoker.

The packed bowl of the package is a pocket-sized book entitled Weed: 420 things you didn’t know (or remember) about Cannabis. If you choose to tackle this book cover to cover, you’re in for an odyssey that begins with “Pot etiquette” and “The Cliff’s Notes guide to weed.” You’ll be introduced to the different breeds of Marijuana: Panama Red. Northern Lights. White Widow. You’ll learn how to handle yourself around a bong: always pay for what you smoke, never yell at someone who is high, and “don’t ever pretend a bong is a penis. Yes, everybody knows a bong is phallic, so move on with your life.”

If you haven’t nodded off yet, the book endeavors to keep you from getting ripped off and to keep you out of jail with the chapters “The company you keep” and “Double-check your sources.” There are entire sections on sniffing out Narcs and the best places to grow weed. There are cautionary tidbits such as “never buy weed from a Carnie. These people are paid to rip people off. While it may be tempting to ignore my advice since all carnies look like they just blew a joint, tread carefully here…” and while at a concert, “Look for the most spaced out people you can find—and stay away from them. You don’t want to know what they’re on. Find the next-most-spaced out people, and see if they have a quarter to sell.”

With the basics nailed down, 420 takes a rambling journey through pot culture and the distorted but mostly friendly landscape of pothead America. Reading these pages I felt a sort of giddy voyeurism, similar to the feeling of reading some debauched travelogue. The benefits of being high: “…weird people seem a lot less weird when you smoke a bowl with them.” Famous baked writers. Famous baked celebrities. And… “around the world in 80 tokes.”

Amsterdam. Brazil. Costa Rica. Trickily located at the end of the book, these destinations of weed-smoking nirvana give a siren’s call that might be more alluring than if you hadn’t just read hundreds of pages all about smoking pot.

Putting the second-hand high aside for a second, I’d like to say that 420 is just plain informative. For example, did you ever wonder ‘Why weed is better than huffing paint fumes?’ You’ll find out. Want to get away with smoking pot while you’re at work? “Here’s some advice on how to avoid getting caught when you’re blazed on the job: always seem like you’re high.” Just a few examples of the wisdom 420 is going to hit you with.

Next is The Quotable Stoner, a book containing quotes related to marijuana by hundreds of pot heads from Cheech Marin to our founding fathers. One word of caution: if you’re baked and looking for a good time just don’t start at the beginning. Before long you’ll run into the aptly named chapter Buzz Killers, a truly buzz-killing potpourri of downer introspection and paranoid flash backs.

Not to worry though; smartly followed by an alter ego section on buzz-enhancers, this portable book of stoner wisdom shifts into a happier gear. “I smoked a long time… It’s a thousand times better than whiskey. …it’s an assistant—a friend.” — Louis Armstrong. Mellow cogitations like “He was high, in that marijuana glow where the world relaxes.” — Malcom X, are chased by perky insights such as “Laundry is great when you’re high.” –Sarah Silverman.

I imagine The Quotable Stoner delivers pretty much what you’d expect going into it, although I experienced a few surprises, such as that I didn’t know Carl Sagan smoked pot all the time.

The trilogy finishes with The Danktionary, a vivid glossary of stoner slang and nomenclature. While you could use this as a literal dictionary if, for example, you overhear a drug buddy talking about a “Quap” and want to know what he’s talking about, the book is better off being flipped through, preferably while baked. Sock drawer: a widely utilized and relatively obvious location for hiding any number of private items… Generation joint: a marijuana cigarette that has been imbued with the concentrated potency of five or six older joints that have been reduced to roaches. You get the idea.

To top it off there’s a separate Appendix just for Munchies. For example, there’s an entry for French fries. You wouldn’t think that you’d need them explained, and in fact they aren’t. The Appendix is more like a trophy room where the classics are exhibited. Pickles. Pizza. Rice Krispies Treats. And of course Doritos.

If The Big Bag of Weed is something you think you might enjoy, then rest assured it’s something you will enjoy. You know what you’re getting — a bunch of writing, information, and humor centered around pot smoking, pot, and pot culture. Enjoy.

Head’s up – you can also get the matching calendar for 2012 — Weed 2012 Daily Calendar: 365 Things You Didn’t Know (or Remember) about Cannabis and/or pre-order the one for 2013: Weed 2013 Daily Calendar: 365 More Things You Didn’t Know (or Remember) about Cannabis.

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