The nation’s economy needs a jump start, and there’s one cash crop that has the potential to help turn it around: cannabis (also known as marijuana and hemp). According to Time, the legal medicinal cannabis economy already generates $200 million annually in taxable proceeds from a mere five hundred thousand registered medical users in just sixteen states. Though thanks to Dick Nixon and America’s longest war — the War on Drugs — cannabis is still technically synonymous with heroin on the federal level even though it has won mainstream acceptance nationwide – 51% of Americans support full legalization (cannabis regulated for adults like alcohol), and 80% support medicinal cannabis legalization.
ABC News reports that underground cannabis’s $35.8 billion annual revenues already exceed the combined value of corn ($23.3 billion) and wheat ($7.5 billion). Imagine if the American economy benefited from those numbers, instead of going into criminal drug gang bank accounts. Actually, you don’t have to imagine: it’s already happening in Canada and Europe, though as yet U.S. leaders won’t heed the call to end the forty-year, trillion-dollar Drug War you have been financing to almost no effect since 1971.
Considering the economic impact of cannabis prohibition—and its repeal—Too High to Fail isn’t a commune-dweller’s utopian rant, it’s an objectively (if humorously) reported account of how one plant can drastically change the shape of our country, culturally, politically, and economically.
In what can now be called his usual wild, hysterical fashion, and with typically impeccable investigative journalistic result, globe trotting, vegetable oil truck-driving rugged individualist goat herder Doug Fine extrapolates a model for the multi-billion-dollar legal, sustainable, cartel-crippling economy that can result when the failed Drug War is finally called off and cannabis is regulated like alcohol in North America.
Too High to Fail covers everything from a brief history of hemp to an insider’s perspective on a growing season in Mendocino County, California, where cannabis drives 80 percent of the economy (to the tune of $8 billion annually). Fine follows one plant from seed to patient in the first American county to fully legalize and regulate cannabis farming. He profiles an issue of critical importance to lawmakers, venture capitalists, climatologists and ordinary Americans—whether or not they inhale.
In classic Doug Fine fashion, Too High to Fail is a wild ride that includes swooping helicopters, college tuitions paid with cash, cannabis-friendly sheriffs (a decorated lawman who says, “I woke up and realized the sun still rises and there is still an America with legal cannabis”), and never-before-gained access to the world of the emerging legitimate, taxpaying “ganjaprenneur.”