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  • California's pot movement is the topic for Author Day

    Peter Hecht"Weed Land author Peter Hecht

    Sacramento State’s One Book Author Day 2015, on Thursday, Oct. 8, in the University Union Ballroom, will be all about California’s legendary marijuana movement. All events are free and open to the public.

    Sacramento journalist and author Peter Hecht will introduce the panelists for a 10 a.m. discussion on “The Emerging Politics of Pot.” In addition, he will discuss his book Weed Land: Inside America's Marijuana Epicenter and How Pot Went Legit at noon and 7 p.m.

    Weed Land is Sacramento State’s One Book selection for 2015-16.

    Hecht is an award-winning Sacramento Bee reporter who began covering marijuana issues in 2009. He launched the Bee’s “Weed Wars” blog the following year, just as California voters considered an initiative to legalize marijuana. He will sign copies of Weed Land (University of California Press, 264 pages, $19.95 plus tax with the Hornet Bookstore discount) throughout the day.

    “I've spent my years in journalism enthralled by the California story, and I'm thrilled that Weed Land was chosen as the One Book selection,” says Hecht, who earned his master’s degree at Sac State. “I'm excited about returning to Sacramento State to share the book and to engage with students and the community on this story about the marijuana phenomenon and an epoch of social change that couldn't have begun anywhere else but in California.”

    Here is the One Book Author Day schedule:

    10 a.m. panel discussion, “From Raids to Regulation: the Emerging Politics of Pot”

    The panelists are: Jeff Jones, founder of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative; Dale Sky Jones, executive chancellor of Oaksterdam University, a cannabis trade school in Oakland; and Dale Schafer, an attorney who was sentenced to five years in federal prison for growing marijuana plants to aid his cancer-stricken wife. Additional panelists are John McGinness, former Sacramento County sheriff and host of KFBK’s The John McGinness Show; and William J. Portanova, the defense attorney who represented the Sutter County farmer who pleaded guilty in federal court to a reduced felony charge stemming from leasing out the family greenhouses for growing marijuana.

    Noon lecture, “On Weed and Writing”

    Hecht will read passages from Weed Land, talk about his experiences covering the marijuana beat for the Bee, and offer insights on the unlikely protagonists who helped to forge the cannabis story in California.

    7 p.m. lecture, “From Compassion to Commerce: How Pot Went Legit”

    Hecht will offer a photographic history and discussion of marijuana’s remarkable arc in history, which ranged from the suffering of AIDS patients in San Francisco to the emergence of a multibillion-dollar marijuana economy in California and beyond.

    The One Book Author Day is hosted by Sacramento State’s One Book Program and is co-sponsored by the Hornet Bookstore, UNIQUE Programs, Academic Affairs and University Enterprises Inc.– Dixie Reid


    In the media:

    "Weed Land," Good Day Sacramento, Channel 31

    "Modern look at the marijuana movement," Fox 40

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