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Graphic: Witchgrass

‚ÄčThere is so much damage and devastation inflicted on American communities by our government’s senseless war on cannabis that the sheer magnitude of the tragedy can sometimes overwhelm us. Bust statistics and prison terms blur into a cacophony of numbers, a calculus of pain as they inexorably pile and snowball.

But one thing that can really take us right back to the reality of the situation — that the war on marijuana destroys lives — is to take a look at a close-knit community and the individuals in it, and how they are impacted when the heavy hand of pot prohibition enters the picture.
That’s exactly what author Dave Wilkinson does with his novel Witchgrass: A Pipe Dream, originally released in 1994 and reprinted this year. The book portrays shattered lives and conflicted families as a New England town splits apart.
Trouble comes to rural Maine as a middle school student is recruited in a DARE class to inform on her parents for marijuana (talk about a storyline ripped from the headlines). As we see the toll the Drug War takes on a small New England town, we are left to ask why.