Thursday, August 10, 2017

The High Road by Colin Hogg

A journey to the new frontier of cannabis



While our politicians and lobbyists continued the long-standing legalise cannabis debate, writer Colin Hogg hit the road to see what moral decline had descended upon the American states where the drug is now legal. 

Over the years – some 30-odd years to be more precise – Hogg has become increasingly bewildered by the unfair realities surrounding his natural drug of choice in his homeland, New Zealand, a country which prides itself on being one of the most liberal in the world, a country here cannabis is the third most popular drug of choice after alcohol and tobacco and where normal people have become life-long lawbreakers. 

Hogg’s new book The High Road: a journey to the new frontier of cannabis (releasing early September) isn’t a political treatise for legalising cannabis in New Zealand though.  It’s an entertaining road trip of book finding the middle ground somewhere between Hunter S Thompson’s drugged up craziness and Bill Bryson’s gentle preambles.

So, with his trusty side-kick and driver Bruce, Hogg explores the north western states of the US, then heads inland to Denver to sample the delights and discover the massive new industry which has sprung up around cannabis from the supermarket-like dispensaries to the specialised tourist operators, plant biologists, farmers, nutritionists, cookie bakers and candy makers. 

As for the moral decline in one of the most conservative countries of the world? Well, it’s all in the book.  

The High Road is Hogg’s third road trip book.  His first, Angel Gear: on the road with Sam Hunt was published in 1989, and Going South: a road trip through life hit the bookshops in 2015.  

Colin Hogg is well-known for his music journalism, reviewing and column writing and documentary making. He grew up in Dunedin and Invercargill where he joined the Southland Times at the age of 17. He has written biographies of Sam Hunt and Barry Crump. This is his ninth book. He’s working on his tenth. and (with some of the rock music mentioned) karaoke. It tells some good yarns. It’s fun.’ Landfall

By Colin Hogg
RRP $36.99  |  release date 1 September 2017  |  HarperCollins Publishers New Zealand

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