Weed, ganja, reefer, Mary Jane, smoke, laughing grass, devil’s lettuce—smoke it, vape it, boil it for tea, make hash for a high or oil for life.
Today’s Cannabis is enjoying a new status as legal plant of choice for altered consciousness—the center of a billion dollar industry and real medicine for thousands of people with pain, cancer, seizures and trauma.
Photographing this story for National Geographic was an education, not just about this plant—revered and reviled—and its devoted users in the recreational world of weed but more importantly, about the courage of parents determined, in spite of laws, distance and resources, to give their children the best life possible.
Lynn Johnson photographs the human condition. A regular contributor to National Geographic, she is known for finding beauty and meaning in elusive, difficult subjects—threatened languages, zoonotic disease, rape in the military ranks, the centrality of water in village life, mysteries of the brain. Hate Kills, her master’s thesis as a Knight Fellow at Ohio University, probed the impact of hate crimes. At National Geographic Photo Camps, she helps at-risk youth find their creative voices. And at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications, she developed and teaches a program that challenges master’s students to push past their comfort levels in pursuit of their stories’ truth. She herself is committed to that search frame by frame. Johnson has worked for LIFE and Sports Illustrated and published 36 feature stories in National Geographic Magazine. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Robert F. Kennedy Award and Pulitzer finalist on two occasions.
Established in 1888, National Geographic is a trusted print and digital publication offering stories that illuminate, inspire, and reveal. Our mission is to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of cultures, the sciences, and the natural world. We advance that mission by creating visually stunning, richly reported photojournalism and distinguished, impartial coverage of the globe’s most pressing issues. National Geographic, the most popular brand on Instagram, has more than 215 million followers.
National Geographic Presents: High Science
Featuring: Lynn Johnson
Curated by: Kurt Mutchler
LocationsView Location Details Download a detailed map of this location Brooklyn Bridge Park – Emily Warren Roebling Plaza
1 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
This location is part of Brooklyn Bridge Park
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An Evening with National Geographic
The evening will begin with photos and videos from the past 127 years—up to the most recent stories from National Geographic and their digital platforms including News, Your Shot, and Proof.Learn More