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Book Review: ‘Idiot’s Guide: Growing Marijuana’

The orange and green cover of Penguin Publishing House's book "Idiot's Guides: Growing Marijuana."


Book Review: ‘Idiot’s Guide: Growing Marijuana’

Big Lit makes a move on America’s new botanical sweetheart — cannabis.

It finally happened. One of the “Big Four” publishing firms, Penguin Random House, at last saw an opening and jumped into the cannabis game with the new release “Idiot’s Guide: Marijuana Growing.” Responsible for the launch of hit titles ranging from Ralph Ellison’s classic “The Invisible Man” to a host of Dr. Seuss staples to Ann Coulter’s recent “In Trump We Trust,” Penguin’s worldwide readership is decidedly vast and varied.

Just think, you’ll soon be able to openly read in public about the systematic manufacture of marijuana and attract little more than a “hmm” from the average passerby. Quite a change from the first, popular MJ title – most notably the seminal grow book “Marijuana Growers Guide Deluxe Edition,” written by Ed Rosenthal and Mel Frank in 1978. Clutching a copy of that title has always felt like an act of defiance throughout the cannabis prohibition years. Not quite on level with “The Anarchist Cookbook,” but close to it if you lived in a state where a loose joint could get you a couple years in a prison labor camp. In fact, “Marijuana Growers Guide” caught fire so swiftly across the nation in the ‘70s that it even garnered a book review by the New York Times.

The “Idiot’s Guide: Growing Marijuana” has the potential to do that again for a whole new generation of people curious about producing some homegrown dank. Think “home-brewed beer” and the frenzy that craze sparked when the average Joe or Jane found out they could have fun creating a batch of IPA, with the bonus of catchin’ a buzz, too.

The “Idiot’s Guide” is pretty much what you’d expect – a straightforward, play-by-play of the nuts and bolts behind growing this versatile and resilient plant. From descriptions on the simple anatomy of the cannabis plant to establishing seeds to growing a full blown garden in or outdoors – the publishers have created a very handy, entry-level Marijuana 101 guidebook. For brevity and to keep that classic “Idiot Guide” segmented format, they’ve left out illustrations of more advanced procedures like “supercropping” – but photos on those intermediate growing methods are just a Google search away.

If you’re a lover of the classic marijuana grow books by the masters and hate the idea of Big Business stepping into the garden, you’ll probably find reasons not to like this book. The “disclaimer” alone on the introduction page about “laws regarding use” screams of a corporate lawyer’s attempt to cover some butts. But on the whole, the book offers a great breakdown of the fundamentals involved in getting your marijuana garden off the ground. If it’s admission to the cannabis world you seek, this isn’t a bad place to dab your toe in the water.

Originally published in Issue 23 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

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