Grass Roots A History of Cannabis in The American West Book Review Paper

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Book evaluation essay on Grass Roots: In his book, Nick Johnson offers an argument about the historical roots and contemporary environmental impacts of cannabis cultivation in the American West. To support his claims, he did an enormous amount of research—books, articles, and reports—and spoke to a lot of people—experts, friends, and strangers. You will follow in his footsteps. Imagine that you are writing a letter to Johnson in which you engage his claim that “the history of cannabis, like the history of anything, is useful because it reminds us of things that can help us plan for a better, or at least a saner, future (7),” specifically how the most environmentally-damaging agricultural practices originated in prohibition and continue through legalization. Since Johnson is a writer, you want to impress him with your thoughtfulness and your prose. Your reply will have two parts: an evaluation and a source reflection. Each part will be about two pages (about 4 paragraphs) each, with page numbers, double-spaced, 12-point font with polished prose. First, you will tell Johnson how well he made his argument. In other words, you will review the book. A well-written review is not the same thing as a book report. A good review not only summarizes what the author wrote, but a good review evaluates how well the author accomplishes his goals AND explains whether the book matters in some kind of larger sense. Name two things that the author does well and two things that he might have done differently. What did he do less well and how might he have done those things differently? Here is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your skills in constructive feedback, because it is not only about what you say, but how you say it. Second, you will address specifically his use of primary sources. Choose ONE of the sources listed in pages 183-224, read that source, summarize that source, and then review how well the author HIST 173T/ENV S 173 American Environmental History 3 used that source. Reflect on how the author used a range of primary and secondary sources as evidence to support his claims. How does the author move between synthesizing sources and reflecting on implications? We will discuss finding and evaluating primary and secondary sources in greater detail. Don’t forget to include an introduction and conclusion that brings together all the parts. Your essay should be about five pages (about 10 paragraphs) long.12-point font, double-spaced essay.

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Running head: GRASS ROOTS


Grass Roots: A History of Cannabis in the American West
Institutional Affiliation


Grass Roots: A History of Cannabis in the American West

This book offers a concise summary of the history of Marijuana as a drug, and its
evolution over the years till it attained the current status that it has in the society. Though
disregarded by scholars and other professionals, the history of cannabis, as is any other thing, is
useful for the planning and creation of a better future in the utilization of the substance. This
work features extensive research on various subjects that are useful in the general discovery of
the essence of the drug, and how it affects communities. Throughout its history, the plant has
been going through various changes in use and legislation, and it is these changes that lead to a
change in its application and the general state of life in America’s crops. Legalization of the
plant is one of the central factors that increase its consumption, and this should be one of the
factors under consideration when focusing on its effects and the various ways of production.
Both primary and secondary sources allow for the discovery of valuable information that will aid
in the general reflection on conclusions reached. This book uses many sources, but the focus of
this letter will be American Environmental History: An Introduction which focuses on the
evolution of environmental degradation.
Book Review
The sole focus of this book is the crop itself, rather than the product, and this provides it
with one of the most significant advantages on the market that it is reaching. In its early years,
the crop was considered to be a drug, thus increasing scientific research on the matter. A
narrative of the plant as a menace immediately followed this, which resulted in the 1937
Marihuana Tax Act. It is this act that paved the way for increased racial bias in the enforcement
of the rules, with the federal agents focusing more on people of color than their white
counterparts. They continually harassed them when forcing them to give up how they were either



abusing and growing the drugs. Mexicans and Mexican American workers incre...

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