It’s Just a Plant  is an illustrated children’s book about marijuana. It follows the journey of a young girl as she learns about the plant from a diverse cast of characters including her parents, a local farmer, a doctor, and a police officer.

Marijuana can be hard to talk about. Many parents have tried it, millions still use it, and most feel awkward about disclosing such histories (many duck the question), for fear that telling kids the truth might encourage them to experiment too. Meanwhile, the “drug facts” children learn in school can be more frightening than educational, blaming pot for everything from teenage pregnancy to terrorism. A child’s first awareness of drugs should come from a better source.

It’s Just a Plant is a book for parents who want to discuss the complexities of pot in a thoughtful, fact-oriented manner.



What on earth does marijuana have to do with children and why does there need to be a book for them on the subject?

Marijuana is around kids! Some children are trying it by ten years old, and awareness of the plant can begin even earlier (through pop culture or by simply opening a parent’s drawer). Other families have been affected by the incarceration of a parent for using the plant, leaving kids with a ferociously skewed view of its legal, moral, and health-related issues. We think there is a way to educate children about drugs by satisfying their curiosity but without piquing a desire to try them.

Does It’s Just a Plant advocate marijuana use for children?

No. It’s Just a Plant explicitly addresses the potential harm of drug abuse and insists that marijuana is not to be experimented with by children. As with books that teach kids about sex, It’s Just a Plant encourages parents to explore the topic and children’s questions about it, all the while reminding them that trying “pot” is an experience for responsible adults.

Should parents who don’t use marijuana read this book?

It’s Just a Plant is for all parents. The book is not about people who use marijuana or people who abstain (although it contains both); it’s about a plant that most children will encounter in their lives. Before they investigate on their own, shouldn't they be prepared? We can deter early use and abuse of drugs by opening channels of communication between children and their parents.

Who made It’s Just a Plant?

The story is by Ricardo Cortés, the #1 NYT best-selling illustrator of Go the Fuck to Sleep. He has also written & illustrated books including Sea Creatures from the Sky and A Secret History of Coffee, Coca & Cola.

See Ricardo’s work at or follow him @Rmcortes

Contributing artists to the three editions of the book have included FUTURA, Too Fly, SMARCUS, V. C. Johnson, José Parlá, Che Jen, Joshua Humphries, Sara Press, and Tillamook Cheddar.

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