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Human Trafficking Is Booming In California's Shadowy Weed Industry

In one weed-growing county in California, 352 people were reported missing in 2015. That's more than in any other county in the state.

By Zach Toombs | September 13, 2016

You can see the full investigation from our partners at Reveal here.

California's weed business is worth billions, but it's largely an illegal industry. And as it operates underground, human trafficking in the weed business is booming.

SEE MORE: The DEA Still Isn't Easing Up On Medical Marijuana Restrictions

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"None of this is monitored," a marijuana trimmer told Reveal. "No one's going to know you're here or not here. It's easy to go missing, I guess. It's easy for bad people to take advantage."

In just one weed-growing county, Humboldt County, 352 people were reported missing in 2015. That's more missing people per capita than any other county in California. 

The weed industry attracts a lot of young workers. Many of them have stories of abuse at businesses operating outside the law. Legalizing weed could help bring the industry out of the shadows. Californians vote on the issue in November.

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