NPR : News

Filed Under:

America's Big Backyard Pot Business

"You're driving up from redwood country, in the most beautiful park in America ... and when it's not on your radar, you have no idea it exists," says photographer H. Lee — referring to the marijuana industry that has proliferated, though unofficially, in that region of Northern California.

The name "H. Lee" is actually the pseudonym she uses when discussing her documentary project and forthcoming book, Grassland. It all seems very secretive, and I guess that's kind of the point — but she makes her opinion clear, too: "I don't think it should be so hidden," she says on the phone.

With the passage of Colorado's Amendment 64 on Tuesday — effectively legalizing recreational marijuana in that state — it seems perhaps some of America shares that opinion, too.

Either way, there's no denying the size and scale of the industry, even if it's hard to quantify.

"It's really a gold rush right now," says Lee, who has spent years photographing the marijuana industry in Northern California. "It's really different from eight years ago when I first saw it. Even five years ago, you had to be really careful."

These days, she says, if you just keep an eye out, you'll see greenhouses along roadsides and billboards advertising pot industry materials.

"It's a fascinating place," she concludes. Her anonymous photo story gives an impression of a booming business many Americans never really see. At least for now.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Your Turn: Sexual Assault, Nate Parker And More

Director Nate Parker's college rape case is resurfacing and putting off would-be fans of his highly anticipated film "The Birth of a Nation." What do Washingtonians think?

NPR

Minnesota Cracks Down On Neonic Pesticides, Promising Aid To Bees

Minnesota's governor has ordered new restrictions on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been blamed for killing bees. Many details of the plan, however, remain to be worked out.
WAMU 88.5

Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan And His Visit To Mexico

Donald Trump lays out a plan for immigration after a meeting with Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto. An update on the Republican presidential nominee’s proposals on immigration, illegal drugs and trade.

WAMU 88.5

Results From Congressional Primary Races And New Concerns About Hacks Into State Voting Systems

Join us to discuss results from primary challenges to Republican Senator John McCain, Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz and others and new concerns possible Russian hackers breaking into U.S. state voting systems.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.