Victoria’s Andrew Struthers’ new book an anthropological study on cannabis

Book reading on April 7 at 4:20 p.m 543 Herald Street

You’re invited to take a trip with Canada’s answer to Hunter S. Thompson or Thomas De Quincey—depends who you ask.

Victoria writer, critic, and filmmaker, Andrew Struthers, has a new book, The Sacred Herb/The Devil’s Weed, a double paperback that attempts to peel back the layers of the cannabis experience.

The proposal for the book came out of necessity. “I was totally flat broke, and I was going to Vancouver anyway and was seeing Rolf [at New Star, his publisher] to wangle a grand out of him or I’m going to be evicted,” says Struthers.

Told through the hazy stories of stoners, is Struthers’ anthropological examination of weed culture, and how one of the fasting growing industries in Canada shapes Western culture. That’s just one layer.

“This book, in essence, is about the difference between lateralized thinking and hierarchal thinking,” Struthers says. “One of the things that marijuana does is that it reduces hierarchal thinking and increases lateralized thinking.”

“Even though there’s a fair bit of science in this book, you have to really go about it carefully. The problem with it is, as soon as I say ‘neurotransmitter’, your eyes glaze over,” he explains. “Especially if you’re a pothead, obviously.”

Admitting that some of his concepts are “even too complicated for this book”, Struthers relies heavily on anecdotes and visualization.

The first part, The Devil’s Weed, reads like one continuous sentence, and was completed in a month – sometimes, Struthers wrote it stoned. His publisher loved it.

The second part, The Sacred Herb, took three months, during which Struthers abstained from cannabis. His publisher demanded a re-write.

Within the experience of writing the book, Struthers says he was testing his theories on thinking, and cannabis.

On April 7, Struthers will be at 543 Herald Street reading from The Sacred Herb/The Devil’s Weed at 4:20 p.m.

Just Posted

Sooke makes call for regional fire dispatch

Some municipalities decide to take service off-Island

Esquimalt council green-lights first mass-timber building on Vancouver Island

Mayor appreciates 12-storey structure’s proximity to naval base, graving dock and Seaspan

Legal action against B.C. specualtion tax a last resort

Group of Arizona home owners feel they’ve been swept up in an attack on land speculators

Rock the Rink gives youth once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

Winning band will get to play a set at Rock the Shores

Greater Victoria School District adopts new dress code policy

Two years in the making, SD61 moves to more inclusionary guidelines

Parents call for change to health laws after Oak Bay teen’s death

Accidental overdose has Elliot Eurchuk’s parents seeking change to B.C Infants Act

B.C.’s living wage increase curbed due to MSP cuts, child care subsidy: report

Living wage varies between $16.51 in north central B.C. to $20.91 in Metro Vancouver

Amalgamation Yes hosting citizen’s assembly info meeting Wednesday at Vic High

Mayors of Victoria and Saanich will be on hand to give updates to residents

Doctor sees healing power in psychedelic plant as Peru investigates death of B.C. man

Peru’s attorney general has ordered the arrest of two suspects in the killing of 41-year-old Sebastian Woodroffe

Toronto police officer ‘gave himself the space and time’ in van attack

Footage shows officer standing up, turning off his siren and talking clearly to the suspect

$1.18 to $1.58 a litre: Are you paying the most for gas in B.C.?

Gas prices across B.C. vary, with lowest in Vernon and highest in – you guessed it – Metro Vancouver

Don’t let growth freaks have their way

Two of your paper’s recent front pages have featured major stories about… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of April 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Inquest set 10 years after B.C. woman shot, left to die

Lisa Dudley, and her partner, Guthrie McKay were shot in their Mission home in September 2008

Most Read