If there’s one earthly pleasure that will expand your wisdom in the manner weed does, it’s books, so let’s get stoned and buy some. Here are some of our favorite books that every stoner should have on their bookshelf.
1. Weed: The User’s Guide, by David Schmader
Billed as a “21st Century Handbook for Enjoying Marijuana,” Weed: The User’s Guide is as poignant as it is hilarious. Covering everything from the cancer risks of smoking pot (none), to how to toke out of an apple, to what to do when you’re too stoned to function and are paranoid your dog is staring at you, this book should be required reading for teenagers before they hit their first joint.
2. Be Here Now, by Ram Dass
Most of you already own this book, but if you don’t, go ask your mom for her copy. Being a stoner and not owning this is like being a Southern Baptist and not owning a copy of the Bible. Be Here Now is a pillar of modern spirituality, and the best thing about it is that you don’t even necessarily have to read it – just get stoned, flip through the pages, stare and contemplate the divinity of your existence.
3. The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook, by Elise McDonough (ed.)
The perfect way to start learning how to elevate your cuisine with cannabis. Have you ever tried Obama’s Sativa Samosas? No? Well, you better hurry up and add this book to your kitchen before he ends his final term!
4. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkein
Not only should everyone who loves weed have a copy of this epic trilogy, but every human on Earth should own it. And not only should they own it, they should have to read it so many times that their original copy becomes illegible and they’re forced to buy a new one.
5. You Can’t Touch My Hair, by Phoebe Robinson
Phoebe Robinson is one of the funniest people in the world. She’s consulted for Broad City, hosts the podcast 2 Dope Queens with Jessica Williams, and has written for pretty much every magazine you’ve ever heard of. You Can’t Touch My Hair: and Other Things I Still Have to Explain is her collection of essays on race, gender and pop culture, and it will make you laugh so hard you might barf up your weed brownie. It hit bookstores October 4, so go pick up a copy!
6. Cannabis: A History, by Martin Booth
The ultimate marijuana textbook, Cannabis: A History will school you on the musical, religious and, of course, legal history of our favorite medicine. Change requires action and action requires knowledge, so to help end pot prohibition in your state, study up on your history with this book.
7. I Swear I’ll Make It Up to You, by Mishka Shubaly
In this hilarious and heartbreaking memoir, subtitled “A Life on the Low Road,” Mishka Shubaly recounts surviving a mass shooting on his school’s campus, salacious nights he barely remembers with beautiful women who probably hate him and why he gave up drinking and the mantra “Life’s too short to swallow anything you can snort” for long-distance running, redemption with his father and a chance to allow the world to experience his music. Don’t get turned off by the recovery stuff: Mishka doesn’t care how much weed you smoke, and he keeps himself off the booze and bad drugs with a yearly shroom trip. As HIGH TIMES has chronicled in recent issues, more and more people are using psychedelics in their recovery process.
8. The Secret Life of Plants, by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird
Even the master cannabis grower can learn a thing or two from this classic, such as the desire of plants to please their humans, their ability to communicate with you, and their relation to alien life. This book is as heady as two bowls of Green Crack, and it will have you writing love poems to read out loud to the plants in your life by the second chapter.
9. Can’t Find My Way Home: America in the Great Stoned Age, 1945–2000, by Martin Torgoff
This five-star manifesto chronicles America’s complicated history with illicit substances, cutting through the bullshit and relying only on impeccably dosed education. If you’re going to get stoned while reading this, use something to help you concentrate, like Lemon Diesel, because you’ll want to take notes to school all your friends.
10. The Book of Awakening, by Mark Nepo
Split into micro-chapters for each day of the year, The Book of Awakening is a calm and meditative journey inside yourself. Yes, it’s super New Age-y. And yes, Oprah loves this book. It’s best for reading when you’re ready to unwind or go to bed, paired with a hit of Northern Lights, to melt away the harshness of the day and experience sublime relaxation.
11. Drawing Blood, by Molly Crabapple
Molly Crabapple is one of the coolest artists alive, and you should absolutely get stoned and read her memoir, which is also an art book, filled with exquisite drawings of everything from the burlesque nightclubs of New York City to the places she’s been to as an activist, including Syria, Rikers Island and Guantánamo Bay. Like three hits of acid followed by a spliff, Crabapple will change how you see the world.