344 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 10 halftones, 9 charts, 4 tables, appends., notes, bibl., index
Marijuana and the Origins of Mexico's War on Drugs
Historian Isaac Campos combines wide-ranging archival research with the latest scholarship on the social and cultural dimensions of drug-related behavior in this telling of marijuana's remarkable history in Mexico. Introduced in the sixteenth century by the Spanish, cannabis came to Mexico as an industrial fiber and symbol of European empire. But, Campos demonstrates, as it gradually spread to indigenous pharmacopoeias, then prisons and soldiers' barracks, it took on both a Mexican name--marijuana--and identity as a quintessentially "Mexican" drug. A century ago, Mexicans believed that marijuana could instantly trigger madness and violence in its users, and the drug was outlawed nationwide in 1920.
Home Grown thus traces the deep roots of the antidrug ideology and prohibitionist policies that anchor the drug-war violence that engulfs Mexico today. Campos also counters the standard narrative of modern drug wars, which casts global drug prohibition as a sort of informal American cultural colonization. Instead, he argues, Mexican ideas were the foundation for notions of "reefer madness" in the United States. This book is an indispensable guide for anyone who hopes to understand the deep and complex origins of marijuana’s controversial place in North American history.
“A most welcome and important contribution to the history of marijuana prohibition. It has broadened our understanding of how we got to this place, and it belongs on the book shelf of every serious student of the topic.”
--Drug War Chronicle
“Recommended. All levels/libraries.”
“Home Grown is a must read for historians, criminologists, analysts, and policy-makers, alike, especially those interested in understanding the origins of Mexico’s current political and social unrest, the cultural underpinnings for marijuana prohibition, or the broader ‘War on Drugs.’”
--Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Book Review
"Isaac Campos is, for my money, the best historian at work today on the history of marijuana, and he has written the best book that anyone could read on that topic."
--John Charles Chasteen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"This book is erudite, engaging and extremely relevant. A multidimensional history of marijuana, it examines the drug as an ancient commodity (both 'Oriental' and deeply Mexican), the beliefs about its effects through violent madness, and the prohibitionist obsession that, as Campos argues, Mexico also exported to the United States."
--Pablo Piccato, Columbia University
"Rigorous, learned, and accessible, Home Grown offers the richest account yet of marijuana's early history in Mexico. It is cultural history at its best--interdisciplinary, materially grounded, deeply researched, and full of discoveries."
--Emilio Kourí, University of Chicago
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