“[Some computer coders] use cannabis when they’re working,” says journalist Joe Dolce. “[And] I’ve met a lot of people…who use it for physical training—runners and certain athletes, swimmers…It really helps them focus.”

In our latest podcast, Nick Gillespie chats with Dolce, a former editor-in-chief at Details and Star, about his new book, Brave New Weed: Adventures into the Uncharted World of Cannabis. They chat about how legalization has opened up new frontiers in marijuana use, and why Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions won’t destroy this burgeoning industry.

“[Weed] is being used..to help people with certain types of medical conditions, not to get high, but to relieve pain…to intensify sex, or other activities,” says Dolce. “We have a gigantic pharmacopoeia of prescription drugs, now we’re looking to increase the more natural drugs that are available to us.”

Nick Gillespie: You start the book with a trip to your cousin’s house that turned you on to a world that you didn’t really know existed. Describe that experience for us and how it got you interested in this topic about the new world of cannabis?

Joe Dolce: Well, I certainly knew that weed existed and I certainly used my fair share; but over the last couple of years, I had really stopped. I was visiting my cousin.

He woke me up one morning and said, “Hey, want to see this new hobby of mine?” He brought me downstairs into the basement and unzipped a couple of Mylar bags in which he had a couple of … Well, he called them “the girls.” A couple of young cannabis plants.

Nick Gillespie: These are “the girls in the basement,” okay, opening chapter.

Joe Dolce: “The girls in the basement,” yeah.

Nick Gillespie: Right.

Joe Dolce: Exactly. Then, we started talking and he starts showing me how he was growing them. He started showing me these amazing macro photographs of trichomes on leaves, and all these details about the cannabis plant that I just didn’t really know about. I was pretty far removed from it all. It occurred to me that ‘Wow, man. My cousin in rural New England has learned all this stuff about weed, mostly through the internet, and guys at the local grow shop. Maybe there’s something to be looking into here. Maybe there was something.’ This was long before Colorado, and Washington, and 29 states voted for legal or medical marijuana. It was about five years ago, I would say. It was happening under the surface, but it certainly wasn’t happening in front of our eyes the way it is today.

That’s when I started. I got interested. He gave me some of this strain, the big part of the story, called ‘super lemon,’ which is a great strain. It’s a strong strain, very stimulating. I liked it a lot. It made my mind tick along, and it didn’t get me tired. I felt just a little, not a lot; so I didn’t get paranoid. I thought, ‘Wow, I better get to know this plant a little better. Maybe I need to reacquaint a little bit more.’