Marijuana legalization means that bigger corporate interests and institutional capital will enter the industry and start competing with the businesses and entrepreneurs who have been at it for decades.
In the Himalayas of India, small villages thrive by growing cannabis.
This is one of them. The village, perched on a mountain at 9,000 feet (2,700 meters), is only reachable on foot. The hike takes three hours. Villagers say it’s been a good season so far—police have only shown up to cut plants twice. But those plants are a drop in the ocean. Ganja grows wild in the Indian Himalayas, and it’s nearly impossible to curb its illegal cultivation.
Whether it’s for medicinal or recreational purposes, marijuana has recently become more (legally) available in dozens of states all over the country. Where there are substances, there are drivers illegally operating vehicles under the influence. DUIs for driving while high might soon become much more common; a company called Hound Labs has developed a breathalyzer test for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, that can also test for blood alcohol concentration, Reuters reports.
As the once-vilified drug becomes more accepted, researchers around the world are trying to understand how it works—and how it might fight disease.