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Early in the morning of September 5, 2002, camouflaged and heavily armed Drug Enforcement Administration agents descended on a terraced marijuana garden – a medicinal and spiritual refuge for the sick and dying. The DEA raid on the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana, a sanctuary for severely ill patients who were using marijuana as medicine, stirs the opening of Weed Land, an up-close journalistic narrative that chronicles a transformative epoch for marijuana in America. Moving from the passage of California’s Proposition 215, the nation’s first medical marijuana law, through law enforcement raids and the emergence of a lucrative cannabis industry, Weed Land reveals the changing political, legal, economic, and social dynamics of pot. It offers an independent, meticulously reported account of the clashes and contradictions of a burgeoning California cannabis culture that stoked pot liberalization elsewhere, leading to marijuana legalization votes in Colorado and Washington. Written by Peter Hecht, an award-winning journalist from The Sacramento Bee, Weed Land takes readers into the laboratories of researchers who challenged federal drug policy with clinical studies revealing the medical benefits of cannabis. It also explores an exploding marijuana marketplace that pitches compassionate healing with the pure joy of pot. And it takes readers inside the law enforcement backlash – and unfolding consequences – of a federal crackdown on America’s largest marijuana economy.
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