Life's Fare

marijuana-nationby Roger Roffman

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One Man's Chronicle of America Getting High: From Vietnam to Legalization

As public attitudes about pot undergo rapid change, Roger Roffman's portrait of marijuana in America rises above punditry and rhetoric.

Roger Roffman first discovered marijuana while serving as a US Army officer in Vietnam.  From these seemingly innocuous beginnings, Roffman has been fascinated by marijuana, as a researcher, scholar, therapist, activist, and user. Ever since America’s youth first marched in opposition to the war in Vietnam, pot’s popularity has periodically ebbed and surged. Calls for greater, fewer, or no marijuana penalties also have swung on their own pendulum.

From lobbying in Washington, to talking to doctors and nurses in oncology wards, and watching his brother struggle with addiction, Roffman has experienced the layered and complex relationship Americans have with marijuana first-hand. With one foot on each side of the fence, at times feeling at odds with both camps, Roffman is on a quest to challenge those who insist we think of marijuana as a weapon of mass destruction, as well as those who would have us see it as a harmless source of pleasure and relief.

About the Author

Roger Roffman is a Professor Emeritus of Social Work at the University of Washington and has been part of a federally-funded, twenty-five year study/counseling initiative for marijuana dependent teens and adults.  He is a graduate of Boston University, the University of Michigan, and the University of California at Berkeley. Roger lives in Seattle.