a week when two of the biggest movies out are
"Power Rangers" and "CHiPs," itís
easy to succumb to the belief that thereís truly
nothing new under the sun.
along comes "The Scratch & Sniff Book of
looks like a childrenís book, with a bright yellow
cover, hand-drawn illustrations and those thick
cardboard pages that little hands can easily flip. But
the content is decidedly adult, with tiny chapters on
everything from "The Botany of Buzz" to the
legalization movement to weed in the bedroom.
book, which will, of course, be released on April 20,
was a collaboration between pop culture writer Eve
Epstein and marketing guru Seth Matlins, both of Los
am a big advocate of what the plant can do for people
medically and recreationally," Matlins said. Plus,
ever since he listened to Pink Floyd for the first time,
in 1982, he said heís been a "big fan."
is one of the minds behind the Rock the Vote movement of
the 1990s. He spearheaded the Truth in Advertising Act,
which aims to curb the use of Photoshop and other
deceptive practices that contribute to self-esteem
issues. Now he works for one of the biggest talent
agencies in the country, where he connects big brands to
Matlins couldnít help but emphasize themes of
diversity and acceptance, even in a scratch and sniff
book about weed.
of the things that is most important to us about the
book besides it being humorous and informative is that
weíve weaved, both in words and images, racial and
social justice themes throughout," Matlins said.
main characters in the book ó illustrated by Redondo
Beach artist Ann Pickard ó are an older Chinese
grandma, a black college student, a middle-aged white
businessman and a Hispanic soccer mom. There are
statistics about how much more likely it is that black
people will be arrested for dealing weed than white
people. And the authors are donating 10 percent of their
profits to the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit that
fights for marijuana legalization around the globe.
book ó subtitled "A physiological, sexual,
historical, botanical and cultural trip through the
world of cannabis" ó also traces the history of
the plant, discusses some of its many medical uses,
breaks down the science behind the munchies, and more.
a lot to pack into 22 pages, which Epstein admits was
one of the biggest challenges.
that made it stronger, really," she said. "It
forced us to focus our attention on the things that were
the most interesting."
hadnít been a big part of Epsteinís life before she
wrote this tale. Her previous book was a playful look at
the difference between Generation X and Generation Y,
and her articles for publications such as Vanity Fair
and Glamour have been more focused on pop culture. But
Epstein said she has friends who are weed fans, and that
she had no hesitation about diving into that world.
me it is a mainstream issue," she said. "Itís
not something anymore that I think people need to have
any shame or concern about."
said they havenít had any trouble getting traditional
booksellers to embrace their project. "The Scratch
& Sniff Book of Weed" will be on storefront
tables at Barnes & Noble, and the first run of books
is nearly sold out in presale on Amazon.
attributes the early success in part to the information
packed into the pages.
challenge anybody, no matter what kind of aficionado
they may be, to not learn 20 new things by reading this
book," Matlins said.
also, the scratch and sniff part is just plain fun.
be clear, none of the smelly spots actually smell like
weed. The Pineapple Express smells like pineapple and
the Blueberry Kush smells like blueberry.
originally envisioned an entire book of different flower
strains and their corresponding scents. But he quickly
learned it wasnít logistically possible to capture
those sometimes subte t notes in an inch of scratchable
surface. So they got creative.
the chapter titled "You, On Weed," the bit
about cotton mouth has a spot that smells like cotton
candy. In the chapter "Some Dope Dope," which
features nuggets of interesting information about
cannabis, thereís a pepper scent to remind readers
that sniffing black peppercorns is said to calm anxiety
when people get too high. And in the "Hunger
Games" chapter, readers can sniff the sweet smell
todayís world, smiles are in short supply. So if we
can put smiles on peopleís faces, we feel really
good," Matlins said. "And if we can inform
people and promote social justice and help the Drug
Policy Alliance along the way, then we feel great."