Catherine Hiller remembers taking her first hit of weed in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, then heading straight for a bar.
“I had the world’s best hamburger,” Hiller told The New York Times. “Inside, I thought, ‘This is for me.’ Perhaps euphoria is too strong a word, but things just seemed great.”
After 50 years of smoking marijuana on a regular basis — she told the Times she has a habit akin to coffee drinking — Hiller is now the author of a book about her adventures, Just Say Yes: A Marijuana Memoir.
She doesn't see much harm in the drug, aside from the criminal penalties and social stigmas that, in her opinion, have been wrongly attached to it. While possession of small amounts of marijuana is decriminalized in New York City, police still arrest marijuana users. Last week, a teenager in the Bronx fell from a rooftop and died after he and his friends — who were smoking weed in an apartment lobby — fled from police.
Hiller is now 68 years old, but she doesn't use cannabis for medical reasons.
“I don’t need it to relieve cramps,” she told the Times. “I just like the feeling.”
A day in the life of a marijuana farmer
Being a marijuana farmer is now a (mostly) legit profession and people like Jeremy Moberg are living the dream.
Moberg owns CannaSol Farms, a 2,500-plant pot farm in rural Washington that grossed over $1 million in 2014. CNN Money followed him around from morning until night to get an idea of what the professional entails.
The story picks up on some great details about the business: he grows his pot outdoors to save on electricity consumption; customers love seeing their pot packaged in fancy glass containers; and he's already eyeing the marijuana market in nearby Oregon, where sales will be legal by 2016.
What might surprise you: Moberg doesn't take a smoke break until 6:07 p.m.
"I can't run this business and be stoned during the day, and I'm trying to get my employees to understand that, too," he told CNN Money. "But as the day winds down, this Super Silver Haze is a sativa breed of weed that makes you think. It's good for networking and talking business."
Sick dogs could be the next big medical marijuana market
Many dog owners will tell you their pet is a like a family member, so it makes sense they wouldn't want to see it suffer unnecessarily.
That's where companies like the Oakland-based Auntie Dolores come into the picture. The business is one of a few daring enterprises to wade into the doggie medical marijuana market, according to Quartz.
At least one woman has seen amazing results after giving her dog the treats, which are heavy in cannabidiol (CBD), the chemical compound in marijuana that's associated with pain relief, Quartz reports.
The use of medical marijuana on pets is still uncharted territory. To avoid legal troubles, the companies selling these treats tend to use hemp, defined by the federal government as marijuana containing less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive chemical in weed. Thirteen states allow commercial industrial hemp production.
But they can still face scrutiny from the Food and Drug Administration, which has been sending out warning letters to some companies selling marijuana-based products for animals.
Ted Hesson was formerly the immigration editor at Fusion, covering the issue from Washington, D.C. He also writes about drug laws and (occasionally) baseball. On the side: guitars, urban biking, and fiction.