12 October 2011

Rag Radio : Activist/Journalist Jonah Raskin, Author of 'Marijuanaland'

Jonah Raskin, photographed at a Rag Blog Happy Hour at Maria's Taco Xpress in Austin, Texas, Friday, Oct. 7, 2011, after appearing on Rag Radio with Thorne Dreyer. Photos (above and below) by James Retherford / The Rag Blog.

Activist/journalist Jonah Raskin, author of Marijuanaland
on Rag Radio with Thorne Dreyer. Listen to it here:

Thorne Dreyer’s guest on Rag Radio Friday, October 7, 2011, was California-based activist and journalist Jonah Raskin. Raskin has written about cannabis politics and culture since the 1970s and his latest book is Marijuanaland: Dispatches from an American War, published by High Times Press. Set in California's “Emerald Triangle” during the unsuccessful Prop. 19 campaign to legalize some marijuana possession, the book looks at marijuana-influenced culture, politics, economics, medicine, and law -- and we discuss all this in our Rag Radio interview.

Raskin has authored 12 books, including biographies of Allen Ginsberg, Abbie Hoffman, and Jack London, and he created the story and characters for the stoner movie Homegrown. A professor at Sonoma State University in northern California, Raskin teaches communication law and American literature. He is a longtime contributor to The Rag Blog and has written for the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and many other publications. Jonah also was active in the Sixties with SDS and the Youth International Party (YIPPIE).

Cannabis activist, science writer, and Rag Blog contributing editor Mariann Wizard, who also participated in this Rag Radio interview, reported on The Rag Blog that Raskin, in researching Marijuanaland, “visited with pot growers young and old, activists for and against legalization, newspaper editors, sheriffs, medical patients, healthcare providers, and friends-of-friends along the way…”

Jonah himself spent some of his early years in the "Emerald Triangle," the three California counties -- Mendocino, Humboldt, and Trinity -- that, according to Wizard “produce some of the most legendary smoke grown…” Raskin’s father, an attorney with old-left roots, had been a rumrunner in the latter days of alcohol prohibition and “grew a personal pot patch… where young Jonah shared the sacred herb with his parents and others over the years.”

Jonah Raskin (right) with Rag Radio host Thorne Dreyer at the KOOP studios, Austin, Friday, Oct. 7, 2011. Photo by Mariann G. Wizard / The Rag Blog.

Rag Radio -- hosted and produced by Rag Blog editor Thorne Dreyer -- is broadcast every Friday from 2-3 p.m. (CDT) on KOOP 91.7-FM in Austin, and streamed live on the web. KOOP is a cooperatively-run community radio station in Austin, Texas.

Rag Radio, which has been aired since September 2009, features hour-long in-depth interviews and discussion about issues of progressive politics, culture, and history. After broadcast, all episodes are posted as podcasts and can be downloaded at the Internet Archive. Tracey Schulz is the show's engineer and co-producer.

Rag Radio is also rebroadcast on Sundays at 10 a.m. (Eastern) on WFTE, 90.3-FM in Mt. Cobb, PA, and 105.7-FM in Scranton, PA. Rag Radio is produced in the KOOP studios, in association with The Rag Blog, a progressive internet newsmagazine, and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

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