I grew up in an ecological and quality-of-life paradise where kids didn’t need electronic devices or shopping malls to have incredible, healthy fun.
Lakes, rivers, freshwater springs, dense forests, flower-festooned meadows, open spaces, trees bearing fruits and nuts, clean air and water, peace and quiet, horses, beaches, bays, tens of thousands of native animal, plant and tree species were the setting for daily adventures.
But when I was 12 years old, money-grubbing developers and their drunken bulldozer boys started destroying all we loved.
Despite our efforts to sabotage their destructive projects, the chainsaw massacre and paving crews transformed my once-lovely home county into a dangerous, noisy, polluted dead zone by the time I was 20.
Depression is anger turned inwards. I began using marijuana to block out the anger and despair of seeing greedy destroyers pave over paradise.
I roamed the world, looking for a new paradise. But whenever I found one, developers and their earth-rape crews were already circling like vultures, eager to swoop down and make a lot of money ruining the place.
Today, most places worldwide that used to be ecologically and socially incredible have become traffic-jammed asphalt and concrete nightmares.
Developers and their allies call this progress. Private property rights. Economic growth.
I call it poisoned water, air, a massacre of Nature and life-enhancing societal structures.
I never knew of anyone who effectively communicated the scope and causes of this relentless destruction until someone handed me a book by author Derrick Jensen, called Endgame.
It was poetic, a revelation, an accurate, heartbreaking prophecy.
Published in 2006, Jensen’s two-book Endgame series and his subsequent books were the first to accurately analyze and viscerally describe the anthropogenic mass extinction event humans via industrial civilization are causing right now.
What is anthropogenic mass extinction? Consider these facts:
- Our current universe likely began approximately 13.5 billion years ago in a chaotic swirl of matter and energy.
- Over billions of years, shaped by gravity and other forces, galaxies, suns, and planets formed.
- Approximately four billion years ago, earth formed, and 3.7 billion years ago, the first primitive life appeared on our planet.
- Since then, there have been five mass extinction events in which almost all life on earth was extinguished.
- Humans evolved into existence after the fifth extinction event, and we are now causing the sixth extinction event via overpopulation, overconsumption, pollution, ecological violence, and exploitation.
- The biosphere is dying; we are its killers.
- Eventually, we ourselves will be mostly wiped out…by our own ecocidal actions.
You might be wondering, if we are rapidly destroying planetary life support systems, why is this not the biggest urgent news on every media outlet?
Good question. The answer is, as Jack Nicholson said in A Few Good Men, “You can’t handle the truth.”
The human species is the one species that constantly, deliberately, convincingly lies to itself, as Jensen documents in his book The Culture of Make Believe.
Most people want basic survival needs as well as excess consumption easily supplied…but don’t want to know that every food, fuel, machine, toy, service they use is sourced by harming the earth.
They don’t want to hear a compelling eco-prophet like Jensen explain how the techno-industrial grid is built by killing the biosphere, creating a world that reminds astute observers of dystopic sci-fi movies such as Idiocracy, Hunger Games, Elysium, Mad Max and The Road.
Derrick Jensen is controversial, because he tells truths few want to hear. An organization called Americans Who Tell the Truth honored Jensen for his candid, compelling truth work.
Not everyone honors Jensen. Just like Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore is viciously slagged by mainstream environmentalists, “sustainable energy” profiteers, and “liberals” for his film Planet of the Humans, Jensen is slagged for his recent book Bright Green Lies.
The book explains that solar power, windmills, and electric cars will not save us—they’re just a continuation of earth-killing industrial consumerism, just another industry getting rich selling half-truths, technological fake “solutions,” and machinery.
Jensen’s books are energizing because he writes with passion and brutal honesty, using real-life stories, ironic humor, vivid details, and unusually insightful journalism to fully explicate issues most people are confused about.
Some of his books detail childhood abuse he suffered, but his telling about it is not a narcissistic pity party.
Instead, he connects the dots, showing the cruelty of child abusers and other dominators and apex predators as part a continuum that includes rape, murder, wars, white-collar crime, factory farming, and other forms of forced exploitation and violence.
The same self-centered rapaciousness shown by a logging company destroying beautiful old-growth forests is found in the minds of fascist leaders, rapists, child molesters, mass shooters, and other dominators.
It’s the ideology of human supremacy combined with the mindset of apex predators who have no morals, empathy, conscience–the dangerous person who does whatever he wants and doesn’t care who he hurts, perhaps even enjoying causing pain to others.
Now Jensen has turned his laser-sharp focus to marijuana and its so-called legalization. His new book Marijuana: A Love Story is personal, journalistic, fascinating.
If you’re a black market marijuana grower and seller, or someone who entered the marijuana white market believing that government regulations, licensing, taxes and other interventions were worth it, this book will sound like the conversations you have with your cannabis friends.
As Jensen explains it…
“Marijuana legalization—that long-deferred dream of stoners everywhere— is overtaking the nation. No longer will people be imprisoned for decades for possession of a plant. No longer will patients be denied marijuana needed for medical treatment. Even folks who just want to get high will have easy, safe access.
But for many that dream has become a nightmare. Legalization has achieved the wholesale handover of marijuana to a few large corporations.
In state after state, the wealth-building capacity of this extraordinary plant is now concentrating into the control of the already rich.
From seed to smoke, legalization is eroding the lives and livelihoods of the people it was supposed to help: the patients, growers, trimmers, transporters, and activists who created the colorful and committed cannabis culture that is now under threat.”
Jensen’s analysis is sadly accurate.
Craft cannabis growers and related marijuana entrepreneurs explain that legalization, regulation, and corporatization create a supply glut, wholesale prices so low that most cannabis growers can’t break even, and market dominance of schwaggy dispensary weed nowhere near as tasty and potent as what you grow at home…but much more expensive.
“If monetary value is attached to something it will be exploited until it’s gone. That’s what happens when you convert living beings to cash. That conversion, from living forests to lumber, schools of cod to fish sticks, and onward to numbers on a ledger, is the central process of our economic system,” Jensen says.
Jensen’s writing is poetic but also irrefutable in its accuracy and logic.
Marijuana: A Love Story does more than just point out how capitalist greed and government-corporate collusion steal the marijuana industry from the black market growers and activists who created it.
He goes deep on his personal affection for growing marijuana and using it, and explains how evolution of cannabis genetics is part of the incredible story of how life on earth arose and became so remarkably diverse.
Jensen notes we have no evidence of any other planet with a biosphere like we have here; when you understand astrophysics and evolutionary biology you see there can’t be any other biosphere exactly like ours anywhere else.
This planet is the only planet that evolved humans and cannabis plants. And even though the war on cannabis plants is waning in North America, the war against the biosphere is heating up.
Just take a look at what fascist Bolsonaro is doing to the Amazon rainforest, or the death of the Great Barrier Reef, to see how far this war has already gone.
Marijuana: A Love Story is an important book that goes way beyond anything you’ve read about marijuana before.
Jensen’s credentials are unparalleled. He’s authored 25 books, runs a podcast, is a farmer and activist, is called a “visionary” and the “poet-philosopher of the ecological movement.”
He’s the founder of Deep Green Resistance, which bills itself as “a radical environmental movement dedicated to stopping the murder of the planet. Our allegiance is to the land. We reject false technological ‘solutions’ and recognize that industrial civilization is incompatible with life on this planet.”
The book’s co-author is Tony Silvaggio, associate professor of Sociology at Humboldt State University and founding faculty member of the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research.
Silvaggio laments the many ways in which careless cannabis growing, especially by corporate growers, harms the environment.
His research has been featured in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, Al Jazeera, and The Nation.
Yes, I recognize that some marijuana growers don’t believe they have the time or even the desire to read a book.
Fewer and fewer people read books, I get that.
But this book is a must-read for any serious marijuana grower or consumer, for anyone concerned about the destruction of our beautiful world.
Almost every grower will identify with Derrick’s hilarious descriptions of life growing and consuming marijuana, starting with transporting serious poundage with a cop car behind you, and the challenges of learning to grow.
“I overwatered, underwatered, overfed, underfed,” he writes. “If there was a way to mess things up, I did it. Several times. That’s how I learn. Eventually. In the meantime, the plants were small, the buds tiny.”
Derrick’s hilarious description of the first time he ingested marijuana edibles echoes our article on how not to overdose on them!
Sound familiar from your own marijuana growing lifestyle? Then do yourself a favor and get Marijuana: A Love Story. It’s the most personal, fun, spiritual book about loving marijuana you could ever hope for.
And now, watch this short, cute music video about what humans do to the biosphere…