A Trimmigrant’s Perspective
“There is a palpable tension between the ‘working man,’ scraping by on Wal-Mart wages in a sagging economy, and the newly-rich young man with dreadlocks and a backwards baseball cap flashing a wad of cash,” says a passage in this morning’s edition of Narratively.
The piece centers on one man’s experience working in the weed fields of the Emerald Counties. He starts in the Santa Cruz mountains and ends up with a grower as weed is exchanged for cash in Eureka. In between he stops in Leggett, where the locals are less than thrilled at the influx of trimmigrants–seasonal workers in the area’s marijuana industry.
He writes, “The seasonal workers, many already living on the edge of society, seek fast cash and exciting adventures in the hills of Northern California at harvest time. They sit on freeway onramps and in town squares holding cardboard signs with pictures of scissors drawn in Sharpie, looking for trimming work. They will be picked up by strangers, often blindfolded and taken to remote woods outside of town to work the farms, plucking leaves, watering plants and trimming buds, hoping the man decides to pay them what he promised. I have joined this group of vagabonds to document the effects of marijuana prohibition on the people and communities of Northern California.”
He doesn’t much manage to document the effects of prohibition so much as to describe his personal experiences in the Emerald Counties. Nonetheless, it’s an enjoyable read.
You can take a look at Lennon Bergland’s article, My Dreamy Dangerous Season with the Weed Harvesters of California Cannabis Country here and expect more like him next fall.