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On a September night in 1978, Muhammad Ali would attempt to reclaim his title from Leon Spinks in one of the greatest heavyweight matches of all-time. That same night, a crew of over twenty-five country boys from in and around central Kentucky, which would soon be known as "The Cornbread Mafia" would pull off one of their many outrageous exploits by attempting to reclaim a huge marijuana field that had been seized by local law enforcement. Although "The Cornbread Mafia" is legendary in Central Kentucky, most people do not know the true origins of the iconic group. Now comes the author's first-hand account of how this term was coined and the many escapades they encountered along the way. This author was actually there, living the events, and tells his unbelievable true story of how a group of small-town country boys began a pot growing operation in the early 1970s which would become the biggest home grown marijuana operation in U.S. history.
In the summer of 1987, Johnny Boone set out to grow and harvest one of the greatest outdoor marijuana crops in modern times. In doing so, he set into motion a series of events that defined him and his associates as the largest homegrown marijuana syndicate in American history, also known as the Cornbread Mafia. Author James Higdon—whose relationship with Johnny Boone, currently a federal fugitive, made him the first journalist subpoenaed under the Obama administration—takes readers back to the 1970s and ’80s and the clash between federal and local law enforcement and a band of Kentucky farmers with moonshine and pride in their bloodlines. By 1989 the task force assigned to take down men like Johnny Boone had arrested sixty-nine men and one woman from busts on twenty-nine farms in ten states, and seized two hundred tons of pot. Of the seventy individuals arrested, zero talked. How it all went down is a tale of Mafia-style storylines emanating from the Bluegrass State, and populated by Vietnam veterans and weed-loving characters caught up in Tarantino-level violence and heart-breaking altruism. Accompanied by a soundtrack of rock-and-roll and rhythm-and-blues, this work of dogged investigative journalism and history is told by Higdon in action-packed, colorful and riveting detail.
When Kentucky Blueblood Drew Thornton parachuted to his death in September 1985—carrying thousands in cash and 150 pounds of cocaine—the gruesome end of his startling life blew open a scandal that reached to the most secret circles of the U.S. government. The story of Thornton and “The Company” he served, and the lone heroic fight of State Policeman Ralph Ross against an international web of corruption is one of the most portentous tales of the 20th century.
Van Meter relates the horrifying, true story of 18-year-old Katie Autry, who was raped, stabbed, covered with hairspray, and set on fire in her dorm room at Western Kentucky University in 2006. photos.
Marijuana is the world's most popular illicit drug, with hundreds of millions of regular users worldwide. One in three Americans has smoked pot at least once. The Drug Enforcement Agency estimates that Americans smoke five million pounds of marijuana each year. And yet marijuana remains largely misunderstood by both its advocates and its detractors. To some, marijuana is an insidious "stepping-stone" drug, enticing the inexperienced and paving the way to the inevitable abuse of harder drugs. To others, medical marijuana is an organic means of easing the discomfort or stimulating the appetite of the gravely ill. Others still view marijuana, like alcohol, as a largely harmless indulgence, dangerous only when used immoderately. All sides of the debate have appropriated the scientific evidence on marijuana to satisfy their claims. What then are we to make of these conflicting portrayals of a drug with historical origins dating back to 8,000 B.C.? Understanding Marijuana examines the biological, psychological, and societal impact of this controversial substance. What are the effects, for mind and body, of long-term use? Are smokers of marijuana more likely than non-users to abuse cocaine and heroine? What effect has the increasing potency of marijuana in recent years had on users and on use? Does our current legal policy toward marijuana make sense? Earleywine separates science from opinion to show how marijuana defies easy dichotomies. Tracing the medical and political debates surrounding marijuana in a balanced, objective fashion, this book will be the definitive primer on our most controversial and widely used illicit substance.
By the lights of absolutely everyone who ever knew her, Katie Autry never harmed a hair on a dog's head. She came from a tiny village in Kentucky. The State moved her as a child into a foster home in a town so small it had one stoplight. New to her own beauty and a little awkward, Katie had the biggest smile on her high school cheerleading squad. In September 2002, she matriculated as a freshman at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. She majored in the dental program, but as it was for many college students her age, partying was of equal priority. She worked days at the smoothie shop, nights at the local strip club, and fell in love with a football player who wouldn't date her. Five feet two in heels and without a bad word to say about anyone, Katie Autry was sweet, kind, and utterly naïve. She was making the clumsy strides of a newborn colt, discovering what the world was like and learning to be her own person. And on the morning of May 4, 2003, Katie Autry was raped, stabbed, sprayed with hairspray, and set on fire in her own dormitory room. In telling the true story of this shocking crime, Bluegrass describes the devastation of not one but three families. Two young men, whose lives seem preordained to intertwine, are jailed for the crime: DNA evidence places Stephen Soules, an unemployed, mixed-race high school dropout, atthe scene, and Lucas Goodrum, a twenty-one-year-old pot dealer with an ex-wife, a girlfriend still in high school, and an inauspicious history of domestic abuse, is held by an ever-changing confession. The friends of the suspects and the foster and birth families of the victim form complex and warring social nets that are cast across town. And a small southern community, populated by eccentrics of every socioeconomic class, from dirt-poor to millionaire, responds to the horror. Like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, this tale is redolent with atmosphere, dark tension, and lush landscapes. With the keen eye of a talented young journalist returning to his southern roots, Van Meter paints a vivid portrait of the town, the characters who fill it, and the simmering class conflicts that made an injustice like this not only possible, but inevitable.
"Greg Campbell is just about the last person you'd suspect of growing pot in his basement. A few ill-fated experiences in college revealed he was a terrible stoner, and in the years since, he's not given the green stuff another thought. But his attitude changed when medical marijuana was legalized in his home state of Colorado in 2009. It set off a tsunami activity that was viewed by opposing camps as either Nirvana or the Apocalypse. Dispensaries popped up overnight, and as Greg watched the flurry, he thought: Why not me? POT OF GOLD chronicles Greg's venture into ganjapreneurealism. Along the way, he learn not only how to grow pot, but he also gained an invaluable education into the truth about marijuana's value as a medicine. Traveling from California's famed Humbolt County to the first-annual Medical Marijuana Education Expo to Oklahoma (where a man was sentenced to 93 years for growing marijuana to treat chronic arthritis), Greg unearths ignorance about pot's centuries-old therapeutic value (an ignorance the government is desperate to maintain) as well as his own personal connection to its medicinal value. "--Provided by publisher.

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