By People Staff
August 27, 1979 12:00 PM

by Albert Goldman

Call it pot, Mary Jane, dope, canape, muggles, muta, tea, boo, goo, gauge, herb, hash, hemp or any of the other 189 names that the U.N. has compiled for marijuana, this is a lively, historical account of the weed. Goldman, a commentator on the pop scene (his last book was Disco), has also done a graphic reporting job on dealing (he describes an incredible “plantation” in a New York basement), the Colombia connection, how dope is smuggled and what happens to the few who get caught. The author estimates that the 16 to 20 million users of marijuana in the U.S. smoke $22.5 billion worth of it each year—$6.5 billion more than is spent for cigarettes. Goldman thinks our expensive, ineffective attempts at law enforcement are the real crimes against society, spawning an underground of crime. Yet he accepts the judgment of many pot critics that “once one has pleasured himself with one drug, he is naturally well disposed to the idea of drug usage in general.” (Harper & Row, $12.95)