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ABC Announces Recipients of James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award
Date:2/21/2013

ut cannabis. I would compare it to corporate-driven efforts to create scientific uncertainty with respect to climate change. The public discussion about marijuana continues to be haunted by the ghosts of Reefer Madness," he said, referring to the 1936 American propaganda film that heavily distorted the physical, psychological, and social effects of smoking cannabis.

Foster explained the importance of public education and debate in a time when cannabis is still viewed by many as taboo. "We don't get to the next stage of understanding the phytochemistry, pharmacology, and medical potential, unless we go through a period of social revolt against the way things are and have been for far too long," he said. "And we don't get there as a society unless we do understand the social history. That is the only way that we as a society are going to move the science forward in a rational way."

"My exciting, sometimes dangerous, and always interesting career has seen me in the coca fields of Latin America, poppy fields in Laos, and ganja fields in Jamaica," said Dr. Duke, who worked for several years on a USDA collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Agency's anti-narcotic program. "Their programs targeted cannabis, the coca bush, and the opium poppy, each with long histories of major medicinal activities. [Smoke Signals] is historically important, but my greater interest is in the medicinal bullets that Lee presents."

The meticulously researched book aims to help educate readers to understand the long, often-contentious history of cannabis, including its use as medicine. According to the publisher's website, Smoke Signals "draws attention to underreported scientific breakthroughs that are reshaping the therapeutic landscape." Medicinal cannabis has been studied as a potential treatment for a wide variety of health conditions including chronic pai
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SOURCE American Botanical Council
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