Every single day, about 6,000 new people discover the joys of cannabis. This can be an experience filled with support and camaraderie or a solitary path to enlightenment. For those taking the lonely road to the healing herb, there is a great book to help you discover this amazing new world, written by a long-time veteran of everything cannabis.

All things pot-related

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The book, How to Smoke Pot (Properly), is written by ten-year High Times veteran David Bienstock. It is less of an instruction manual, and more of a 266-page exploration of the wide world of weed, from cooking to vaping. The guide delves into the long history of the herb, from ancient civilization to modern movements, and feels more like part-documentary, part-witty manifesto.

History and culture

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From its travels alongside ancient cultures to its use by monarchs for menstrual woes, Bienstock recounts the long road this plant has traveled with us, and our evolving relationship with it. He details the arduous war against the plant that has occurred over the past century, and the true reasons behind it.

Pot prohibition is “an insidious plot to protect the pharmaceutical industry, Big Tobacco, the booze barons and the plastic industrial complex from unwanted competition while building up a modern police state right under our noses, and they would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for us meddlesome stoners.”


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Formerly the senior editor of High Times magazine, David Bienstock now produces cannabis-themed video content for Vice and shares his knowledge and passion for the herb across all forms of media.

From the battles of dispensary and collective raids by the DEA, with in-depth and behind the scenes information, to interviews with successful entrepreneurs and activists on how to get into the burgeoning industry, Bienstock’s book covers all aspects of modern marijuana. Very much a pro-cannabis publication, it is tailored to both medical and recreational enthusiasts.

Wisdom and knowledge

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The book goes beyond simply a documentary of the past and the present and explains the science behind cannabis and how it works (in a way we can easily understand). His knowledge is both detailed and practical, with witty-but-informative sidebars on how to roll a joint in the wind, why you should never drive stoned, and why you should never buy pre-rolled joints, even from a dispensary.

He brings the light to a controversial change that is happening in the world right this moment and does it with both professional thoroughness and passionate heart.

“Fifteen years ago, publicly self-identifying as a marijuana user, or even taking it up as a political cause, pretty much disqualified you from being taken seriously in the public square,” Bienenstock writes in a chapter called “Keep Pot Weird.”

Despite the stigma of writing for a pot publication, not only has Bienstock survived in the world of news and journalism, but he has thrived, publishing a serious and compelling masterpiece on what this simple plant has meant to the world. Face it. Whether you love it, hate it, or can’t stand anything about it, cannabis is here, and here to stay, so you might as well know the truth about it.

Do you have a collection of books on cannabis? Which ones have meant the most to you? Share your favorites on social media or in the comments below.