Burning Rainbow Farm by Dean Kuipers
How a Stoner Utopia Went Up in Smoke

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Synopsis

On a mission to build a peaceful, pot-friendly Shangri-La, Tom Crosslin and his lover Rollie Rohm founded Rainbow Farm, a well-appointed campground and concert venue tucked away in rural Southwest Michigan. The farm quickly became the center of marijuana and environmental activism in Michigan, drawing thousands of blue-collar libertarians and hippie liberals, evangelicals and militiamen to its annual hemp festivals. People came from all over the country to support Tom and Rollie's libertarian brand of patriotism: They loved America but didn't like the War on Drugs.
As Rainbow Farm launched a popular statewide ballot initiative to change marijuana laws, local authorities, who had scarcely tolerated Rainbow Farm in the past, began an all-out campaign to shut the place down. Finally, in May 2001, Tom and Rollie were arrested for growing marijuana. Rollie's 11-year-old son, who grew up on Rainbow Farm, was placed in foster care - Tom would never see him again. Faced with mandatory jail terms and the loss of the farm, Tom and Rollie never showed up for their August court date. Instead, the state's two best-known pot advocates burned Rainbow Farm to the ground in protest. County officials called the FBI, and within five days Tom and Rollie were dead. Obscured by the attacks of September 11, their stories will be told here for the first time.
 

About Dean Kuipers

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Dean Kuipers is the deputy editor of Los Angeles City Beat and the author of I Am a Bullet and Ray Gun out of Control. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, the Los Angeles Times, and Playboy. A native of Michigan (twenty miles from Rainbow Farm), he now lives in Los Angeles.
 
Published December 1, 2008 by Bloomsbury USA. 388 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Law & Philosophy, Biographies & Memoirs, Crime, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Burning Rainbow Farm

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The author goes to some lengths and generally succeeds in showing how the outlying conservative rural community, while hardly in favor of legal pot or post-hippie lifestyles, could tolerate Crosslin, his much-younger male lover Rollie Rohm and their crowd on the simple basis that what they did wa...

May 15 2006 | Read Full Review of Burning Rainbow Farm: How a S...

Entertainment Weekly

This is the story of Tom Crosslin, a gay libertarian who owned a Michigan campground called Rainbow Farm where he hosted concerts in support of decriminalizing marijuana...and where, in 2001, he and his lover were shot to death during a five-day standoff with the FBI.

Jun 09 2006 | Read Full Review of Burning Rainbow Farm: How a S...

Reason Magazine

Sales of its mainstay product - the album - continue to.

Feb 01 2007 | Read Full Review of Burning Rainbow Farm: How a S...

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