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Teen-ager Burma Roberts, in order to defy her sister Elaine, who is doted on by their mother, spends her evenings at beer halls with her boyfriend, Dick Collier. While the couple is out drinking one night, narcotics peddlers Tony and Nick befriend Burma's group of friends, hoping to create a market for heroin. At his beachhouse the next weekend, Tony introduces the unsuspecting girls to marijuana and, in a frenzy of giggles, they undress and run into the ocean in their underwear. One of them, Joan Marsh, swims too far out and is drowned. When the girls return to shore, they discover that she is missing. Burma, meanwhile, is so intoxicated that she becomes sexually aggressive with Dick and they spend time on the beach alone. Following the party, headlines announce Joan's death and the community is outraged. Elaine, in order to protect the reputation of her wealthy fiancé, Morgan Stuart, manages to keep Burma's name out of the scandal. Burma's trouble begins, however, when she learns she is pregnant as a result of her intoxicated behavior at Tony's party and she asks Dick to marry her. Desperate for a job, Dick agrees to meet Tony's drug shipment but is killed during a police raid. Burma then threatens to expose Tony, but he convinces her to stay with him until her baby is born. Following the birth, he puts the baby up for adoption and fashions Burma into Blondie, "queen of the snow peddlers." Soon Burma is a heroin addict. Hoping to procure some of her sister's wealth and determined to make Elaine "suffer the torments of hell," Burma kidnaps the Stuarts' daughter. When she goes to collect the $50,000 ransom, however, Morgan refuses to pay, saying the baby is Elaine's sister's and was adopted when her mother disappeared three years before. Meanwhile, the husband of one of Burma's customers discovers a ring missing and calls the police on "Blondie." When the police search Tony's apartment, they find dope and the Stuart child. When Burma returns home to face her own child, she gives herself an extra dose of heroin and, opening the door, sees Nick and Tony handcuffed and the police waiting. Burma collapses on the floor as she sees her daughter's face for the last time, and marijuana cigarettes fall about her head.