The Marijuana Project, by Brian Laslow ISBN 9781518805479
Three out of five stars
The main character is Sam Burnett and he is a security expert that is offered a job to plan and manage the security of a facility where medical marijuana is to be grown and processed. The location is New Jersey and the state has just passed a law making medical marijuana legal. Significant security features need to be implemented, for the cash value of the marijuana on hand will generally far exceed what is held in banks and other financial institutions. Furthermore, since the substance is still illegal at the federal level, transactions are generally cash-only.
Sam is also an arch conservative and is strongly opposed to legalization of marijuana for recreational use, labor unions and other areas he perceives as the bastions of liberalism. Therefore, he has significant qualms about the legalization of marijuana for medical reasons, and this waffling is a weakness of the story. Medical marijuana is now the law in New Jersey, a fact that will not go away. Sam also learns of cases where the use of medical marijuana has led to dramatic improvements in the lives of people, so he understands the value. Yet, he spends far too much time engaged in contemplation of his role in the industry. Sam is portrayed as a man of decisions made clearly and quickly, yet his waffling over this grows tedious.
An auto tragedy where someone is killed by a driver shown to be a consumer of medical marijuana is used to fuel the doubts and it comes across as a very weak plot line. Sam uses this as the fuel for feeding his uncertainty about his involvement in the industry and it is a shallow point. Nearly everyone has read one of the warning labels on a bottle of prescription medication, “Do not drive or operate heavy machinery ...” To blame the substance and make a career decision based on what only may have been a causal event is absurd. Nearly all effective medications have potentially dangerous side effects.
There is also an attempt to create a dramatic climactic event at the end that just falls rather flat. By that time, I was so tired of the waffling of Sam that I just wanted to read the last line in the book.
This book was made available for free for review purposes.