It took me a little longer than I had anticipated, but I finished Brian Laslow’s The Marijuana Project! Now, to be clear, I needed more time for reading due to several factors, mostly being that I had another big project I was working on that took up a lot of time. Also, The Marijuana Project is not a quick one-day read, but is loaded with fascinating backstory. I found this realistic novel on Book Club Reading List.
The Marijuana Project is about a successful security consultant named Sam, a conservative family man who is staunchly opposed to drug use of any kind. When a medical marijuana company offers him a well-paying job running security for their new facility, Sam doesn’t know if he should take the job. He accepts the position, albeit a little tentatively, but is resolved to do his job to the best of his ability. Then Sam starts receiving anonymous notes: on his windshield, while out of town on business, and to his email inbox, all targeting his ethical insecurity, trying to persuade Sam to help an anti-marijuana activist group burn his client’s supply of product.
The quality of writing throughout the book is strong and clear. The main protagonist, Sam, is very cool. He’s smart, thorough in his work, has impeccable integrity and makes sure every decision he makes is in line with his personal code of ethics. I think integrity is an increasingly rare quality. It was refreshing to read about a character who continually strives to do what he believes to be right.
“Sam was a man of principle. He believed there was good and evil in the world and if good did not fight evil then it was as responsible for the result as evil itself.” (pg 167)
The Marijuana Project was also, at least for me, quite educational. I live in Colorado, a place where marijuana can be obtained from vending machines, yet I’ve somehow stayed relatively ignorant of many of the arguments on both sides of the debate. It was interesting to witness Sam’s journey as he wrestled with the pros and cons of protecting a substance he personally disagrees with.
The ending was a great twist, something I did not see coming.
The main thing I wanted from this book was more action. The prologue is a flash-forward to the end where Sam is defending the marijuana facility from unknown assailants, bullets flying and a truly dire situation. With such an exciting beginning, I was expecting a little more action throughout the story and especially at the end. There were parts where Sam is describing aspects of his security systems that got lengthy and–I hate to say it–a little boring. Also some parts where Sam is doing research about the person or group who might be sending him notes or his internal ethical debates really slowed the story down.
Definitely an interesting book, different from anything else I’ve read. I learned a little more about the marijuana industry, a very current and relevant topic, and more about how much goes into security–something I can say I’ve never given much thought. If you are interested in learning more about the marijuana debate, are interested in security, enjoy ethical dilemmas, or stories with a healthy dose of mystery, then you will definitely enjoy The Marijuana Project!
4 out of 5 stars
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