All Siebert is saying is, ‘Give pot a chance’

Book Talk: Amanda Siebert, cannabis journalist and author of The Little Book of Cannabis, shares a reading along with a question and answer session at The Odyssey Coffeehouse at SAIT on Feb. 1. Siebert’s book is based on scientific research, and explores the many benefits of cannabis in everyday life. (Photo by Tiffany Oud/The Press)

Former SAIT graduate, and award-winning journalist Amanda Siebert has published a book about the usefulness of cannabis for pain management, as well as for health and wellness.

The Little Book of Cannabis was published all across Canada and on Amazon on Oct. 17, the same day recreational cannabis use was legalized in Canada.

According to Siebert, it was the media’s misconception about the drug and the buzz leading up to Canada’s decision to legalize recreational marijuana that sparked a discussion with her then-employer Georgia Straight.

The need for thoughtful cannabis journalism and better public awareness of cannabis inspired Siebert to write her book.

“The way the media and the people in power talk about cannabis has been negative and inaccurate, and I was disappointed,” said Siebert in a telephone interview from her home base, Vancouver.

“So I decided to write a book to debunk that myth.”

Siebert was in Calgary Feb. 1-3 to promote the book, in radio and TV appearances, and at the Calgary Health Show, at the BMO Centre.

In 2015, Siebert graduated from SAIT’s journalism program with a major in photojournalism. Soon afterwards, she moved to B.C. to join the Georgia Straight newspaper. She subsequently became that paper’s first cannabis editor.

Siebert said that writing the book was challenging because she was working as a full-time writer at the time.

“It took me 10 months to write the book and it wasn’t easy.”

The book offers up case studies and evidence to support Siebert’s claim that marijuana consumption can have a positive effect on the user.

“I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and I have consistently used cannabis for almost 10 years,” said Siebert.

“It has helped me in so many ways.”

Despite there being no official documentation, Siebert believes that people have been using marijuana for more than 10,000 years, for medicinal and recreational purposes.

The Little Book of Cannabis includes chapters on using cannabis for pleasure, and for pain. It even includes a step-by-step guide to rolling the perfect joint.

“I think the government missed the mark when they were creating cannabis legislation,” said Seibert.

“There are still people behind bars or [who] have a criminal record on their name because of [it].”

I think the government missed the mark when they were creating cannabis legislation. – Amanda Siebert

Calgary resident Harvey Smith said that he’s glad the Canadian government has legalized marijuana.

“I have used cannabis for over 20 years now,” said Smith.

“I use it for pleasure and I’m glad it’s now legal in Canada.”

Smith feels bad for those who have been punished in the past and he believes that past offenders deserve more than just an apology from the government.

Siebert encourages cannabis users who still use in secret to try to be open and honest about their marijuana consumption.

“It’s not the like the heyday where people used to hide from the police,” said Siebert.

The 216-page paperback is published by Greystone Books of Vancouver. It is listed on the publisher’s website as selling for $14.95.

The Little Book of Cannabis: Damien M., an employee at the Calgary Sunridge Chapters location, displays one of the most recent book offerings called The Little Book of Cannabis Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. The book is an in-depth look the benefits of cannabis, written by Vancouver-based author and journalist Amanda Siebert. (Photo by David Kazimiro/SAIT)
About David Kazimiro 2 Articles
As a news reporting and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, David Kazimiro is working as a writer for The Press during the 2018-19 academic year.