By the title of the book, we have a pretty good hunch about its theme. But don’t assume it’s all ‘puff, puff pass.’ This is a tale of medicine and morality; “a security expert’s journey through the ethical weeds” if you will.
The Marijuana Project revolves around security expert Sam Burnett, who has been hired by a firm that produces medical marijuana. Burnett’s job is simple enough; he must establish a secure environment for the employees so that the product doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Seems easy enough for the war vet. This is beneficial for Burnett because it means he can be at home more. The caveat lies in his religious upbringing. He has very conservative views and is staunchly opposed to drugs of any kind. Despite knowing the positive benefits of the drug, he sees it as an open invitation for more dangerous drugs and reckless behavior. To make matters worse, his son’s best friend is killed in a car accident and the driver was under the influence of medical marijuana. The incident causes Burnett to reach his breaking point and takes matters into his own hands, which leads to a potentially dangerous confrontation with his employers and a group of unknown assailants.
It is a moral dilemma as Burnett struggles with his own consciousness, which is similar to many Americans today. Can he look past his views in favor of the protection of this industry? Or must he prevent accidents like the one befallen to his friend from happening ever again?
The plot is exciting. From the very first sentence, you receive a scene of drama that can only be seen in the likes of Die Hard as Burnett hears gunshots from his hiding place in a catwalk above the production floor. From there we are sucked into Burnett’s world, which offers a thrilling look into a contemporary issue that is changing the current political landscape.
It’s always suggested to write what you know about, and it shines in Brian Laslow’s book, who takes his own personal experience working in security to flesh out the story. I always enjoy a book that takes the time to do its homework. The descriptions of the strategies and security risks that come with legalization are spelled out in very fine detail, giving us a better framework as to why the conflicts develop the way they do. Never have I read a book before about legalization that offers insight into both sides of the issue. It spells out how new industries must make changes, but at the core of the book, it is still man vs. self as it shows how moral preconceptions can sometimes be the biggest challenges.