The residents of a remote Indian village have achieved international fame by growing one of the only plants that grows in their climate – marijuana. The village of Malana, located within the lush Kullu Valley at an altitude of 8,859 feet, was once completely isolated from the world, but has now become one of the world's top stoner tourist spots. The oily, potent hash made in the village, known as “Malana Cream,” has won the High Times Cannabis Cup at least twice, and is well known in the coffee shops of Amsterdam.
Marijuana plants were cultivated and sold in India for decades until the government caved in to international pressure and banned the drug in 1985. Despite the fact that possession of a kilogram of marijuana resin is punishable by a minimum of ten years in jail, it is believed that the residents of Malana have produced over 25,000 pounds of hash this year alone.
80-year-old Gori Massi, who spends her days cultivating, curing, and extracting the resin from marijuana plants, explained that the residents of Malana have few legal opportunities to make a living. “Wheat and other grains don't grow on this land," she said. "Nothing else grows here. We have to live like that, and whatever plants we do have are cut down by the police. What can we do?"
"They want us to completely stop growing marijuana. But we keep sowing it," Massi's son, Jabe Ram, said. "If the government helped us in some way and protected us from hunger and cold, we would maybe consider stopping. Obviously, we are not going to go hungry. Even if we have to go to jail for it, so be it."