States forge path through uncharted territory to legal pot

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Legal weed has unleashed an entrepreneurial spirit across the USA and holds the potential to reshape communities, but voter-approved relaxation of drug laws may bring consequences we don't yet understand as we soften the war on drugs.

A USA TODAY Network investigation into marijuana legalization reveals increases in marijuana-related car crashes and in hospitalization of kids who steal their parents' pot, of black-market smuggling rings and the challenges of running cash-based businesses that can’t use traditional banks because of federal regulations.

But we’ve also found heartwarming stories of parents who credit cannabis with helping their children overcome chronic illness, of towns seeing their tax bases rise and entrepreneurs forging new identities in an American-made green rush.

Eight states and the District of Columbia now permit adults to use recreational marijuana, and 30 have allowed medical use of some kind. That means 205 million Americans live in a state where marijuana use is...

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