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Kid’s book about dope
Controversial book for kids teaches them all about marijuana.
Image: Book Cover, It's Just a Plant, by Richard Cortés, Magic Propaganda Mill Books

Ricardo Cortés, illustrator of the infamous kid’s book, Go the Fuck to Sleep has released an equally controversial title: It’s Just a Plant, a picture book which explains what marijuana is and how it is used. You can even page through the book virtually on Cortés’ website.

The book takes a matter-of-fact look at the way parents use the drug; the mom spends time showing her daughter how it is grown, and what it’s used for. She visits a farm, a doctor and even some dodgy city streets in her quest to teach her kid all about marijuana. It’s full of appropriately psychedelic pictures.

Mixed reactions

While some marijuana fans have supported the book and the ways in which it purports to counteract ‘demonisation’ of the drug, plenty of people have also expressed outrage at the attempt to make an illegal (in many places) drug seem like any ordinary plant.

Some who work in drug abuse programmes have said it’s a useful educational tool.

The book includes lines like these:
  • “No, baby,” said her mother. “This is a joint. It’s made of marijuana.”
  •  “I came to teach my daughter about marijuana,” said Jackie’s mom.
  • “Wow,” said Jackie, after they left. “I’m going to plant some marijuana at home!”
  • “Marijuana is for people who can use it responsibly. It gives some people joy, but like everything, it can be used too much.”
The author insists that he’s addressing an issue which needs to be spoken about, and he’s no stranger to controversial kid’s books. He has also released a colouring book which seeks to demystify ‘foreign-sounding’ names, in particular the way certain names or cultures have been associated with terrorism in the west. It’s called “I Don’t Want to Blow You Up.

A brief review:

I tried reading the book with an open mind, but it left me feeling intensely uncomfortable, mostly in that it focuses on the ‘positive’ sides of marijuana use, depicts a child being exposed to drug abusing parents in the home and glosses over the negative aspects of drug use. My general feeling is that it is thinly-disguised propaganda which would not benefit a child at all.

Parent24 does not promote or condone the use of drugs or illegal activities.

What do you think? Would kids benefit from a book about marijuana?
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