© H. Lee
"The first time I entered this world, I was totally ignorant to pot farming, and riddled with judgment. It took some time for my outsider eyes to adjust to see what was all around me - behind locked gates and camouflaged cabins, past generators and barking dogs, protective firearms and diesel trucks - but also to gain the trust of the community. It is an eclectic group, bound together by a deep knowledge of growing techniques, along with a strong distrust for outsiders; suspicion is a necessary survival trait. These farmers are lured by the single magical and medicinal plant; a plant whose cultivation or possession holds the promise of profit, coupled with possible jail time. As state and local laws, along with public acceptance, are now changing, this once-furtive farming community is coming out of its greenhouses, building bigger ones and growing giant plants in full sun, less fearful of the hum of helicopters, more exposed and confident than ever before."