Weed, man

Books about the Canadian marijuana industry tend to be written by stoners and usually proceed as follows: pot is good, cops are bad; legalize it. In other words, they lack relevant discussion, are biased, and often based on fantasy versus fact. Ian Mulgrew has written a book about the industry that, for once, is actually about it.

Bud Inc. is a well-penned detail of Canada’s marijuana industry grounded in cold, harsh reality. Described from a socio-economic perspective, it’s a definitive crash-course in the industry instead of propaganda promoting it. Mulgrew draws a vivid picture of marijuana’s role in the current economy, and explains clearly how things would change were legalization to take place, without making any judgments on it.

The argument for legalization and the effect it would have on the future of the Canadian economy dominates the discussion. The usual conclusion is made that organized crime will be denied millions of dollars of funding. While this deduction has been heard before, Mulgrew’s careful proposal of it in light of other supporting factors for legalization is well-received. He explains legalization will eliminate the currently unchecked middleman in delivering product safely to the consumer, among other things.

In another pleasant change of pace, Mulgrew depicts major players in the industry for what they really are. Instead of describing righteous victims he details how their lives revolve around the marijuana industry and how legalization would impact them economically.

A self-proclaimed stoner, Mulgrew describes his personal habits at various parts of the book. Despite delving off-topic, these sections depict him as a first-person participant, oddly furthering his credibility.

Mulgrew loses some of this hard-wrought integrity during his discussion of American prisons as dungeons where busted dealers rot, describing the authorities as apathetic and incompetent. These accusations and arguments are unfounded and childish for a book that is otherwise professional and relevant.

Overall, Bud Inc. is an excellent and fresh depiction of Canada’s marijuana industry–something rarely found in a book written by a stoner. The progression is clear and discussion is typically relevant. This is a definite read for the stoner with economic or political interests, and a good read for those who want to know about legalization’s potential benefits and consequences.

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