Cannabis : Global Histories

Mills, James and Richert, Lucas (2021) Cannabis : Global Histories. MIT Press, Boston MA. ISBN 9780262366137 (

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Co-written introduction (with Lucas Richert) to the 'Cannabis: Global Histories' volume, which provides a major review of the field and an intellectual framework for its future. I wrote 80% of the introduction, and edited eight of the papers in the volume. The introduction has the title 'Breaking News: Weed Kills Coronavirus'. The volume gathers together authors from the new wave of cannabis histories that has emerged in the last twenty years. It is a major output of the Wellcome Trust grant awarded to establish the 'Cannabis: Global Histories' network. It offers case studies from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East. It does so to trace a global history of the plant and its preparations, arguing that Western colonialism shaped and disseminated ideas in the nineteenth century that came to drive the international control regimes of the twentieth. More recently, the emergence of commercial interests in cannabis has been central to the challenges that have undermined that cannabis consensus. Throughout, the determination of people around the world to consume substances made from the plant has defied efforts to stamp them out and often transformed the politics and cultures of using them. These texts also suggest that globalization might have a cannabis history. The migration of consumers, the clandestine networks established to supply them, and international cooperation on control may have driven much of the interconnectedness that is a key feature of the contemporary world.


Mills, James ORCID logoORCID: and Richert, Lucas;