A new children's book, written and illustrated by Ricardo Cortés, attempts to tackle a difficult topic for many parents to address with their children... their usage of marijuana.
It's Just a Plant is a touching children's book telling the story of Jackie, a young girl who on an unfortunate evening wanders into her parents room to find them smoking marijuana. This discovery leads Jackie and her mom on a bicycle ride of knowledge, as Jackie's mom attempts to teach Jackie all about marijuana.
Whether it is through talking to Farmer Bob (her mom's dealer), her mom's doctor (who prescribed the pot), a gang of brothers smoking ganja out in public (who later tech Jackie a valuable lesson about the abuses of law enforcement) - all the people Jackie meet tell her about the many positive uses of marijuana.
How about an excerpt...
“YOU’RE SMOKING MARIJUANA!” yelled out Jackie.
Four men on the corner, taken by surprise, started laughing when they saw Jackie and her mother.
“Excuse me, Miss,” said one of the men, “I call that la la la.”
“And I,” said another, “call it ganja.”
“I call it cannabis sativa,” said the third.
“Oh?” said the fourth. “I call it... reefers, muggles, cheeba cheeba, sinsemilla, sweet leaf and weee-”
(For more of this book, please to be going to http://www.justaplant.com/story/index.html)
To me, this book is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it is a book that needed to be written; a literary vehicle to open conversation between parents and children about a topic that can be very confusing to children... especially the children of people using medicinal marijuana who might be confused knowing that their parent(s) might be partaking in something that the schools, police and other authority figures proclaim to be dangerous and deadly. It is a beautifully written and illustrated kid's story, with easy to understand concepts as well as an innocent and honest look at marijuana in our 21st century world. The times are changing, and with marijuana starting to be more and more socially accepted, the old education model of "Just Say No" is just not going to cut it any longer. This book is an honest and upfront way of telling kids about marijuana and why they should not touch it until they get much older.
All that being said, I laughed my ass off reading this book. For some reason, while I totally agree with the book- both in its message and in spirit- I found the whole story to be rather funny. The idea of a mom taking her daughter to meet the guy who grows her weed or around guys brazen enough to smoke pot out in public strikes me as funny. (And if you don't believe me, try reading a page or two of this and see if you don't start snickering uncontrollably...)It's Just a Plant, written by Ricardo Cortés, is available at www.itsjustaplant.com for the inexpensive price of 15 bucks ($18.95 with tax and shipping and handling).