Katherine Mangu-Ward on the Medical Marijuana Business in The Wall Street Journal


'If your life ever gets boring, try this for some excitement—load up your car with live marijuana plants." You might expect Greg Campbell, a former war correspondent whose work inspired the 2006 film "Blood Diamond," to have nerves of steel. But the confusing state of the nation's marijuana laws, which he chronicles in "Pot Inc.," reduces him to quiet panic as he drives through Fort Collins, Colo., where he now lives, carefully coming to a full stop at every stop sign.

The six fledgling pot plants belted into the backseat of his Ford Explorer are as legal as you can get. Mr. Campbell has a doctor's recommendation authorizing him to grow and use marijuana, thanks to a 2000 amendment to the Colorado state constitution and a cottage industry of physicians willing to define "severe pain" expansively. Still, this 40-year-old suburbanite—who is theoretically doing some gardening to relive back pain but actually planning to become a peculiar kind of drug dealer—could, quite possibly, wind up in jail.

Managing Editor Katherine Mangu-Ward reviews two new books on the marijuana biz in this weekend's Wall Street Journal. Read the rest here.