BooksJacket Copy

A weed-y reading list for Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN

AuthorsCNN (tv network)Sanjay Gupta

Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN has decided that marijuana is not a dangerous drug, but one that should be embraced by the medical establishment -- something authors have known for years.

Gupta, who came out as a pot supporter on CNN's website Thursday, explains the science behind his decision in a CNN special to air Saturday. It's a big turnaround for the neuroscientist, who wrote a piece stating his position against medical marijuana in 2009.

As with anyone who has recently converted, Gupta may want to immerse himself in his newly-discovered culture. To that end, we've come up with a list of books that celebrate the wonders of weed -- because some authors have been with the pot program all along.

"Chronic City" by Jonathan Lethem. This novel about an actor, a doomed astronaut and a rapidly-changing New York features as one of its main characters autodidact Perkus Tooth, a pot aficionado. "It's really just a life habit," Lethem told The Times. "I've known people, and gone through times in my life, when smoking pot wasn't a remarkable choice, it was just daily fuel, fuel for conversation."

"Heart of Dankness: Underground Botanists, Outlaw Farmers, and the Race for the Cannabis Cup" by Mark Haskell Smith. The L.A.-based writer travels the world to discover the people and science that create the world's most delectable pot.

"The Emperor Wears No Clothes: The Authoritative Historical Record of Cannabis and the Conspiracy Against Marijuana" by Jack Herer. An independently published history of U.S. marijuana laws by the man who was known as the country's premiere hemp activist.

"Grow Girl" by Heather Donohue. The star of the hit horror film "The Blair Witch Project" gave up Hollywood to move with her boyfriend to a pot-growing town in Northern California, a place that wasn't as progressive as you might think.

"Budding Prospects" by T.C. Boyle. In this 1984 novel, a longtime loser attempts to strike it big with a massive pot-growing scheme in Northern California -- decades before there was any chance of such a thing being legal.

"Vineland" by Thomas Pynchon. Can there ever be enough books about ill-fated pot-growers in Northern California? This was the first book Pynchon published after his landmark novel "Gravity's Rainbow," after a 17-year hiatus.

"Burning Rainbow Farm: How a Stoner Utopia Went Up in Smoke" by Dean Kuipers. A reported story of a pro-gay, music-loving, libertarian marijuana farm in Michigan than ended in a tragic government raid.

"Cheech and Chong: The Unauthorized Autobiography" by Tommy Chong. A discursive memoir from half of the comic duo that made marijuana stoner-dom mainstream. "I know some of you will thumb through the book and go directly to the end to find out what happens," he writes in a prologue. "Well, don't waste your time. Because that is not the way I write."


Diary of a Wimpy Kid series: See the next book

Aimee Bender's 'The Color Master' paints worlds of wonder

George Saunders' Syracuse commencement address to become book

Carolyn Kellogg: Join me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
AuthorsCNN (tv network)Sanjay Gupta
  • 100 years of bookmobiles
    100 years of bookmobiles

    The German Robi bookmobile is pretty neat: from the outside, it seems like little more than a big blue bus. On the inside, however, it's an ultra-modern hangout with books galore. Inspired by its combination of books and wheels, here's a quick tour through bookmobiles of the ages.

  • Literary journalist Gail Sheehy on her 'Daring' career
    Literary journalist Gail Sheehy on her 'Daring' career

    In her new memoir, "Daring: My Passages," literary journalist Gail Sheehy describes her struggles and triumphs as she made an imprint on the world of journalism starting out in the 1960s when it was a "man's world." At the heart of the memoir is the deep love she shared...

  • 10 bookish movies coming in September
    10 bookish movies coming in September

    September is full of bookish film adaptations, with movies made from kids books, an international bestseller, a bestselling mystery and a couple of heart-stopping YA thrillers, of course. Here's what's in theaters, and what's coming soon.

  • Riding with Easy Rawlins in Walter Mosley's 'Rose Gold'
    Riding with Easy Rawlins in Walter Mosley's 'Rose Gold'

    Easy Rawlins is back, this time hunting a missing Patty Hearst-like heiress in Walter Mosley's undercooked 'Rose Gold.' Although set in 1967, the story line and racial issues are sadly familiar.

  • 'The Case Against the Supreme Court' pushes for reforms
    'The Case Against the Supreme Court' pushes for reforms

    Erwin Chemerinsky has made an exemplary career out of teaching, writing and lecturing about the U.S. Supreme Court. And though he has strongly liberal views, he is widely admired for his ability to explain the work of the court in a way that is thoughtful, clear and fair.

  • Detroit's first free Write a House goes to Brooklyn poet
    Detroit's first free Write a House goes to Brooklyn poet

    Nevermind the headlines about water shutoffs and a high-profile murder trial. Casey Rocheteau, a 29-year-old Brooklyn poet, will be packing up her things to move to Detroit in November.