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Super-Charged: How Outlaws, Hippies, and Scientists Reinvented Marijuana

By Jim Rendon

A fascinating blend of botany, politics, and cultural revolution. Rendon succeeds in taking apart these contradictions and creating a vivid portrait of what may be the world's most powerful plant.

Amy Stewart, author of Wicked Plants and Wicked Bugs

Marijuana has been illegal in the United States since 1937. Yet, thanks in large part to a loosely connected underground world of breeders, dealers, and smokers, there are currently more than 2000 varieties available. And since 1996, when California first passed legislation allowing for legalized medical marijuana, the underground has slowly surfaced, pushing what was once a decentralized, lawless land closer to the corporate world of business, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals.

Super-Charged gets up close and personal with the people who have transformed this controversial drug. With personalities and backgrounds as diverse as the plant itself, the growers include a former Silicon Valley software entrepreneur; third-generation residents of Humboldt, California; a publicly traded pharmaceutical company; and the famous marijuana personality Jorge Cervantes. Author Jim Rendon takes readers behind the scenes and into the homes and grow operations of the committed, quality-obsessed practitioners in the international underground industry responsible for creating today's super-charged cannabis.

Ironically, the pioneers who built this illegal industry may one day find themselves out of business in the face of the drug's growing mainstream acceptance. Just how this could come about is part of the incredible story.

Media reviews

"Rendon's useful, relatively balanced overview is recommended for readers looking for a concise analysis."

Library Journal

"A definitive overview of an important and fascinating plant undergoing a politically charged transition, and a great read."

Garden Rant

"For someone who has never really been a part of the cannabis scene, he does a great job immersing himself in our world ... by offering a broad perspective on everything from genetics to politics."

—Stoner Macgyver, Denver Westword Blog

"Science lovers who'd love to read something a little different will love Super-Charged by Jim Rendon."

Allied News

"This book is not an argument for or against the legalization of marijuana. It is a discussion of how the criminalization of marijuana has altered its genetics and its place in American culture."

East Oregonian

"An in-depth, balanced look at the state of pot cultivation and consumption in America today. ... Super-Charged is the best book out there for getting up to speed on an intriguing part of our culture, and what is likely the most mysterious and powerful herb on the planet."

Independent Publisher

About the author

Jim Rendon

Jim Rendon is a freelance writer who covers business, science, design, and the environment. His work has appeared in The New York Times and The New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Fortune, Men's Journal, and other publications. He is a former staff writer for SmartMoney magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Read more about Jim Rendon

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