This California City Rejected Marijuana. Now Cannabis Is An Official Tourism Draw.

Marijuana legalization came slowly to Modesto, California, a city of about 212,000 in the state’s Central Valley, a vast, flat expanse full of fields and farms intersected by freeways, new tract homes—and values hard to the right of the state’s coastal cities. For years, medical marijuana dispensaries were banned in Stanislaus County, of which Modesto is the seat. A 2006 Drug Enforcement Administration raid on a medical marijuana dispensary in city limits—that was obeying state…