More and more states are legalizing marijuana in some form. Moreover, a majority of the U.S. population is in favor of the drug for recreational use. In the Weeds looks at how our society has become more permissive in the past 150 years—even though marijuana is still considered a Schedule I drug by the American government.
Sociologists Clayton Mosher and Scott Akins take a deep dive into marijuana policy reform, looking at the incremental developments and the historical, legal, social, and political implications of these changes. They investigate the effects, medicinal applications, and possible harms of marijuana. In the Weeds also considers arguments that youth will be heavy users of legalized cannabis, and shows how “weed” is demonized by exaggerations of the drug’s risks and claims of its lack of medicinal value. Mosher and Akins end their timely and insightful book by tracing the distinct paths to the legalization of recreational marijuana in the United States and other countries as well as discussing what the future of marijuana law holds.
For some people, their lawn is a source of pride, and for others, caring for their lawn is a chore. Yet for an increasing number of people, turf care is a cause of ecological anxiety. In Lawn People, author Paul Robbins, asks, "How did the needs of the grass come to be my own?" In his goal to get a clearer picture of why people and grasses do what they do, Robbins interviews homeowners about their lawns, and uses national surveys, analysis from aerial photographs, and economic data to determine what people really feel about-and how they treat-their lawns.
Lawn People places the lawn in its ecological, economic, and social context. Robbins considers the attention we pay our turfgrass-the chemicals we use to grow lawns, the hazards of turf care to our urban ecology, and its potential impact on water quality and household health. He also shows how the ecology of cities creates certain kinds of citizens, deftly contrasting man's control of the lawn with the lawn's control of man.
Lawn People provides an intriguing examination of nature's influence on landscape management and on the ecosystem.
As long as humans have existed, they’ve worked and competed with plants to shape their surroundings. As cities developed and expanded, their diverse spaces were covered with and colored by weeds. In Weeds, Zachary J. S. Falck presents a comprehensive history of “happenstance plants” in American urban environments. Beginning in the late nineteenth century and continuing to the present, he examines the proliferation, perception, and treatment of weeds in metropolitan centers from Boston to Los Angeles.
In dynamic city ecosystems, population movements and economic cycles establish and transform habitats where vegetation continuously changes. Americans came to associate weeds with infectious diseases and allergies, illegal dumping, vagrants, drug dealers, and decreased property values. Local governments and citizens’ groups attempted to eliminate unwanted plants to better their urban environments and improve the health and safety of inhabitants. Over time, a growing understanding of the natural environment made “happenstance plants” more tolerable and even desirable.
In the twenty-first century, scientists have warned that the effects of global warming and the heat-trapping properties of cities are producing more robust strains of weeds. Falck shows that nature continues to flourish where humans have struggled: in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, in the abandoned homes of the California housing bust, and alongside crumbling infrastructure. Weeds are here to stay.
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