Author Martin A. Lee received the following letter Feb. 15 from Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council:

Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that the American Botanical Council has chosen Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational, and Scientific as the recipient of the 2012 James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award for the consumer and popular books category.

The ABC James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award was created in 2006 in honor of noted economic botanist and author, James A. Duke, PhD. It is given annually to a book that provides a significant contribution to literature in the fields of botany, taxonomy, ethnobotany, phytomedicine, or other disciplines related to the vast field of medicinal plants. Among his long and prestigious career achievements in economic botany and ethnobotany at the United States Department of Agriculture, Dr. Duke has authored more than 30 reference and consumer books. He is also a co-founding member of ABC’s Board of Trustees and currently is Director Emeritus.

Last year, due to the diversity of quality books related to medicinal plants, we created two categories for the award: Consumer/Popular and Reference/Technical. This year both awards will be presented at the 8th Annual ABC Botanical Celebration and Awards Ceremony on March 7 in Anaheim, CA, as part of Nutracon 2013 conference and Natural Products Expo West trade show. We invite either you or a suitable representative from your publisher to attend this event and receive our award.

As we recently published our first medicinal cannabis cover story in HerbalGram’s 30-year history, we recognize and honor your book’s role in educating the public about this important plant.

Again, our congratulations and thanks to you for producing such a well-researched, well-written compelling, and timely book.


Mark Blumenthal