For a segment of the population in Blythe, a farming town on the California-Arizona border, cannabis looked like the crop of the future.
The city of 19,486 was founded a century ago as a verdant agricultural hub. Today, farmers grow alfalfa, cotton and melons on the neat green squares of land that define the Palo Verde Valley.
But the population of the town is shrinking and the poverty rate is high. Blythe turned to pot two years ago, following the example of other inland communities in California, like Needles and Desert Hot Springs, which have each embraced legal marijuana as California prepared to regulate the sale of the drug to adults for the first time.