National Geographic Society

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Sadhu with beard and face paint smoking from pipe. In Nepal, the government lifts the ban of marijuana one day a year on the religious festival of Shivaratri.

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NGC explores drug cultures around the world where people use drugs to enter an "altered state" -- sometimes with dangerous consequences. We visit a village in Venezuela where shamans use drugs to contact the spirit world, a festival in Nepal where hashish is temporarily legalized and a club scene in Amsterdam where drugs have become a focus of both recreational indulgence and scientific inquiry.