Fall 2023


Cannabis Culture in the Americas

  • Interest Level: Grade 9 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 8

Humans have used cannabis for thousands of years, since Neolithic peoples sought out its medicinal benefits.

But for the past century, its use has been largely criminalized. Stigma around cannabis has made it difficult for people of all ages to get straightforward answers about how to minimize health risks related to cannabis consumption or to understand how the plant has shaped and continues to shape society today.

In Weed: Cannabis Culture in the Americas, culture writer Caitlin Donohue crafts a comprehensive and thought-provoking review of cannabis in the Western Hemisphere. Donohue’s investigation spans from Vancouver, Canada, to Buenos Aires, Argentina, interviewing medical researchers, educators, activists, artists, business leaders, and other experts to explore the long relationship between cannabis and the human race, its almost universal prohibition in the twentieth century, and modern efforts to legalize the much-maligned plant in all its forms.

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Interest Level Grade 9 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 8
Genre Social Studies, Young Adult
Copyright 2023
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Zest Books ™
Language English
Number of Pages 184
Publication Date 2023-09-05
Text Type Informational/Explanatory
BISACS YAN051070, YAN052020, YAN031000
Dewey 362.29/5
Dimensions 5.5 x 8.25
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Bibliography/further reading, Index, Reviewed, Sidebars, and Table of contents

Author: Caitlin Donohue

Caitlin Donohue is a San Francisco-raised, Mexico City-based bilingual culture journalist, radio producer, and drug educator. She's written about cannabis culture and politics for 12 years, and Weed is her second book for young adults.

Weed: An Interview with Author Caitlin Donohue

Weed: Cannabis Culture in the Americas is a wide-reaching and inclusive collection of interviews which will satisfy young adult readers curious in the unique plant’s history and future. Culture writer and journalist Caitlin Donohue joins us today to discuss why a book like this is so… View →


Children's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD)

“Donohue wants to set the record straight on the positive aspects of this much maligned plant. . . The book is written in a conversational tone making it accessible for teenagers who are curious about cannabis. Reviewer Rating: 5”—Children’s Literature


“[O]ffers serious researchers fresh perspectives.”—Booklist

Javier Hasse

“Caitlin Donohue’s Weed: Cannabis Culture in the Americas masterfully connects the dots between the ancient roots and modern implications and applications of cannabis, delivering an enlightening journey through diverse perspectives.”— Javier Hasse, drug reporter, co-founder/CEO of Spanish-language website El Planteo, Benzinga head of content

Felicia Carbajal

“This book’s timing is perfect for our world. As we begin to see past the weeds (pun intended) to find sustainable solutions rooted in harm reduction for our youth, this is the book to share.” — Felicia Carbajal, community organizer and executive director of The Social Impact Center

Zara Snapp

“Accessible, engaging and evidence based, Weed provides an excellent overview of the political changes related to cannabis in the Americas and the personal stories that provide meaning and motivation to the global reform movement . . . A must-have for young people and other curious readers!” — Zara Snapp, drug policy advocate and director of Mexico’s Instituto RIA

Kirkus Reviews

“Solid research and a global perspective create a useful approach focusing on harm reduction.” —Kirkus Reviews