Martin A. Lee

Investigative Journalist

Martin Lee

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Martin A. Lee is the director of Project CBD, an information service that reports on cannabis science and therapeutics. He is the associate editor of O’Shaughnessy’s, the journal of cannabis in clinical practice. An award-winning investigative journalist, Lee is the author several books, including Acid Dreams and The Beast Reawakens. His latest book is the social history of marijuana, Smoke Signals. Historian Douglas Brinkley said of Smoke Signals: “Every American should read this landmark book!”

Smoke Signals tells the great American pot story—a panoramic, character-driven saga that examines the medical, recreational, scientific, and economic dimensions of the world’s most controversial plant.

Lee traces the dramatic social history of marijuana from its origins to its emergence in the 1960s as a defining force in a culture war that has never ceased. He describes how the illicit marijuana subculture overcame government opposition and morphed into a dynamic, multibillion-dollar industry.

In 1996, California voters approved Proposition 215, legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. Similar laws have followed in more than a dozen other states, but not without antagonistic responses from federal, state, and local law enforcement. Lee draws attention to underreported scientific breakthroughs that are reshaping the therapeutic landscape. By mining the plant’s rich pharmacopoeia, medical researchers have developed promising treatments for cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, chronic pain, and many other conditions that are beyond the reach of conventional cures.

Colorful, illuminating, and irreverent, Smoke Signals is a fascinating read for recreational users and patients, students and doctors, musicians and accountants, Baby Boomers and their kids, and anyone who has ever wondered about the secret life of this ubiquitous drug.

Lee is also co-founder of the New York-based media research group FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) and former editor of FAIR’s magazine Extra! His articles have appeared in many publications in the United States and abroad, including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Harpers, The Nation, Le Monde Diplomatique, Christian Science Monitor and Mother Jones. He has been a guest on CBS’ 48 Hours, CNN, CNBC, C-Span, the History Channel, NPR’s Fresh Air, and has lectured at numerous colleges and universities.

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