Have a look at your local bookseller’s magazine rack this week. It might even be worth an Instagram — for history’s sake.
Two of America’s most fabled magazines’ current cover stories are exploring the known and unknown science of marijuana. On National Geographic’s cover: “Weed: The New Science of Marijuana.” On Time magazine’s cover: “The Highly Divisive, Curiously Underfunded and Strangely Promising World of Pot Science.”
That the two magazines, with nearly 210 years of publication shared between them, are coincidentally running these stories simultaneously says something about the ever-shifting national conversation surrounding cannabis.
“Politicians and voters need to wake the fuck up and smell the weed,” wrote Redditor envyxd on a r/trees post about the dueling covers.
Bruce Barcott — author of the book “Weed the People” and co-author of Time’s piece this week — took notice of the two magazines’ timing in a recent email exchange.
“When American institutions as stolid as Time and National Geographic run cannabis on their covers, without the words ‘crackdown’ or ‘out of control’ or ‘fear’, the ground has truly shifted,” Barcott told me.
So here they are: Hampton Sides’ Science seeks to unlock marijuana’s secrets, from National Geographic. And Barcott and Michael Scherer’s The great pot experiment, from Time.