Advance Praise

“When it comes to the war on marijuana, it’s easy to be passionately pro or con. Roger Roffman goes much deeper. For 40 years he’s been passionate about actually understanding America’s fascinating and painful relationship with this drug and what policy is best for our society when it comes to pot. In Marijuana Nation, Roger shares a unique perspective from the trenches of Vietnam to the halls of academia to the eventual legalization of pot in two states. The story he tells is a page-turner for anyone curious about the social and historical context of America’s war on pot.”
–Rick Steves, host of public television’s Rick Steves’ Europe

Marijuana Nation was a totally engaging read! It vastly broadened my understanding of the history of marijuana within our culture, which explains much of the how and why we are where we are today (here in Washington state)! I especially appreciated the candidness with which Dr. Roffman described his personal experiences and opinions around marijuana. As a mother who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s and is now frantic about my teen son’s heavy marijuana use, this book has given me a better perspective and knowledge that is helping me deal with his dependence. I think this is a book every parent should read, and I intend to pass the word around in my Coalition work.”
–Julie Campbell, youth substance abuse prevention activist, Seattle

“This terrific book provides great insights into the complex issue that is cannabis. Professor Roffman’s unique experiences with this drug as social justice activist, user, abstainer, researcher and clinician are given voice with his usual thoughtful and engaging style. As he notes it is a topic where truth and myth vie for believers and the polemics of the debate are truly astounding. It is so rare to find such rational discussion of the complexities of this question of the potential benefits and harms of cannabis use and policy responses by someone as well informed from both sides of the trenches. Roger Roffman is a father of modern cannabis intervention research and after reading his wonderful book I now appreciate the source of his compassion and clinical insights. This book is a must read for those interested in the history of cannabis activism, what potential benefits and traps there are for cannabis users, and for clinicians and policy makers who wish to better understand the resources required for public health responses and the need for research to develop the evidence base around this complex drug.”
–Professor Jan Copeland, Director, National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia

“Roger Roffman provides readers with an astounding first person account of the modern history of America’s love-hate relationship with cannabis from four knowing perspectives. Firstly, that as a young cannabis consumer; then an activist heading up Washington State NORML’s lobbying efforts; followed by an abstinent, federally-funded cannabis researcher; and lastly as a not-so-tacit university professor (witnessing his state over a forty-year period of time progressing from being cannabis tolerant to being one of the very few places in the world where cannabis is legalized for consumers to purchase). From no one else’s writings about cannabis law reform in America can these four unique viewpoints be gained.”
–Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws

“Debates about marijuana rarely involve opponents acknowledging that those on the other side have some good points. Those for legalization rarely admit marijuana use can be harmful, and those against it rarely concede that prohibition has failed. In Marijuana Nation, Roger Roffman brings some badly needed “fresh air” to our national discussion about pot and pot laws. A retired professor who has studied marijuana for decades, Roffman has also had the personal experience of struggling with his own compulsive use. The reader will find a middle ground in this thoughtfully written memoir. As more states consider changing their marijuana laws, Roffman’s book is being published at just the right time.”
–Charles Mandigo, Former Special Agent in Charge, Seattle Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation

“The honesty with which Roger Roffman tells his own story of a journey with marijuana would be enough to enthusiastically recommend this book. That it includes thoughtful challenges to society’s approach to the drug makes it a book that should not be missed.”
–Kim Marie Thorburn, MD, MPH, Former Spokane County Health Officer and Director, Spokane Regional Health District

“Roger Roffman takes the reader on a 40 year journey of discovery with his compelling, easy read. Marijuana Nation chronicles Roffman’s unique evolution as a marijuana reform advocate, traversing through his experiences as a social worker in the jungles of Vietnam, his brief personal experiments with the controversial herb, and his life-long conflicting views on the subject. Roffman’s experiences largely parallel those of the 60s generation, while his unusual insights are fueled by his thoughtful assessments which coalesce with his eventual participation in recent reform victories in Washington State. Anyone wishing to understand the conflicting value judgments, political quagmire, and social upheaval that the marijuana reform effort has been steeped in for decades would benefit from reading Marijuana Nation. While Roffman’s work may deliver more questions than answers, his introspection and self-effacing style carve a path for the discerning mind to come to its own well informed decisions on what clearly is the subject of the day for both the social scientist and the casual reader.”
–Vivian McPeak, Executive Director, Seattle Hempfest

“Professor Roffman’s journey with marijuana provides a probing historical reflection on the failures of prohibition, including the heart-breaking human toll taken through misguided criminal laws. But while making the case for Washington State’s “New Approach” in legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana, Roger’s personal experiences serve to counter the dangerous exhortations of some drug policy reformers that marijuana is a harmless drug. His cautionary approach on the campaign trail helped to bolster the reform movement’s credibility among mainstream voters who clearly want to redirect failed prohibition policies with rational alternatives. I was proud to be a co-sponsor of (successful) Initiative 502 with Roger.”
–Pete Holmes, City Attorney, Seattle

“Dr. Roffman writes beautifully from multiple perspectives about his 40 year interest in marijuana policy — the destructive impacts of our drug war on exploring young lives, the political struggles over policy changes, his own experimentation and dependency, and his research on marijuana addiction. A must-read for all seeking a saner approach to recreational drug use.”
–Robert W. Wood, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Washington

“Roger writes a compelling story. No matter what side of the marijuana debate you land on, you can appreciate how he arrived at his opinion on the matter. This is more than an argument for or against the legalization of marijuana, it’s a detailed map of his personal journey and evolution on the topic. I have long respected Roger’s willingness to tell the whole story in his work. Reading this book helps me understand the thoughts,tears,steps and intention behind his position.”
–Frank Couch, LMFTA, CDP, NCACI, Executive Director, The Science and Management of Addictions