Friday Book Club: Smoke Signals

“Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational, and Scientific” by Martin A. Lee

Understanding the nuanced relationships of science, politics, history, health, culture, and more when it comes to cannabis can be quite the challenging endeavor but author Martin Lee does a fantastic job of creating a birds-eye view of how these subjects overlap to create the modern marijuana culture we see today, for better and worse.

Today we are breaking down the potent content available in “Smoke Signals” and just how fascinating this information in story form is when reviewed from start to finish.

Tag along as Lee conveys the multitude of ups and downs that cannabis culture has endured while learning more about the health benefits of cannabis use, the history surrounding our favorite flower, and where we stand today through the lens of a story told via character perspective.

-Topic Focus-

There are many awesome books that take a larger-scale look at the past and present of marijuana culture but the author choosing to utilize a character-driven narrative to convey this information is a unique choice that helps the reader to stay interested and invested moving forward in the book.

Here you will find much reliable content focused on the health benefits and therapeutic aspects of cannabis use, an overview of the history of marijuana, and so much more from the perspective of an award-winning journalist.

In this book, you will find sections that focus on the drug war, the rapid growth of the marijuana industry, the relationship between politics and cannabis, some good old-fashioned herb-lore, and you will be pleasantly surprised to find just how thoroughly research these topics are.

-About the Author-

“Smoke Signals” is not the only book written by author Martin A. Lee. He also wrote “Acid Dreams” with Bruce Schlain, “Unreliable Sources” with Norman Solomon, and “The Beast Reawakens”.

Lee is also an award-winning journalist who has published content regarding issues in the media, politics surrounding the drug war, terrorist activities, far-right movements, and more. He also has an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from the University of Michigan. His speaking and lecture tours have taken him to places such as Dartmouth College, Harvard University, John Hopkins University, Columbia University, and more.

-Reading Experience-

Right from the start, you are thrown a unique twist as you might be expecting a more neutral or scientific approach to this topic and you are greeted with an introduction of a character in a story. Conveying such complex and far-reaching information through the medium of storytelling in this book is impressively done. I initially expected some kind of breakdown that is common with these sorts of books when the prologue surprised me with the description of a Texan on horseback with a mustache to begin with.

The book flows well and the solid information is stylishly intertwined with comfortably paced storytelling that really makes the reader feel more invested in the book.

The in-depth level of research and its degree of professionalism becomes clear quickly as you move forward in this book.


“Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational, and Scientific” by author Martin A. Lee feels like two books in one as it is incredibly educational while conveying its information through storytelling and narrative, not unlike a fictional novel.

The book is quite large at nearly 500 pages but it seems to flow so smoothly you hardly notice just how dense it is as the story itself is engaging and the information presented is very revealing.

“Smoke Signals” is absolutely worth adding to your cannabis library and revisiting again and again over time.

You can get your own copy of smoke signals by Martin A. Lee here:

Noemi Gonzales

Noemi and her partner Joe are a dynamic duo that tackles a wide variety of business endeavors together and has a special place in their hearts for the Cannabis Industry. Years of experience in journalism, covering cannabis events, interviewing fascinating people in the cannabis industry, and hard research helps to keep us on our toes when it comes to reporting on the Cannabis industry

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