The Grower as a Family Man

 

Here in Humboldt, we’re used to growers being just like everyone else–kids, mortgages, chores.  But even in the world of marijuana magazines, that is an unusual idea.  To most, growers are outlaw bachelors…wild men in the hills, divorced from civilization.  Jack Rikess, a former comedian, who now writes for Toke of the Town, confronts this image in an excellent, literary piece in this issue of Toke of the Town. His visit to the backwoods of the Emerald Triangle offers a rare look at family life in outlaw grows. I recommend the whole piece though the end meanders away from the subtle literary turn and slaps you in the face a bit much. The first part had me riveted though. Here’s an excerpt.

…we pulled off the road that had snaked and turned through the burnt brown grassy California hills. Some fallen trees marked an open square in the turnout where obviously vehicles have parked here before. Being an outsider, I kept my mouth shut and waited like Ty was doing.

I know sometimes growers will do deals in front of me to show the lifestyle. Let me know what it’s kind of like. I never feel good about that.

I don’t want to be around if something went bad. Either to be blamed for it going bad or worse, getting swept up in the badness. Whatever, I don’t want to be that close to the scene. A gentle walk through your grow is good enough for me. I don’t need to meet Scarface.

Ty glanced at his watch. “Soon,” he says looking at me.

About five minutes later a white GMC van skirts off the road, opening a side door. A 12-year-old girl with sleek brown hair and a smile filled to the grills with wire, jumped out of the country school bus, runs to her dad and hugs him.

…Twenty minutes later we were up the hill. There were three locked gates which his daughter, Taylor had opened for us.

 She held the swinging arm of the gate as we drove the cars through, then closing and locking the gate behind us. I wondered if it was weird for kids up here to live under lock and key. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live under the constant threat that your operation might be shut down by the cops or some other unknown force. What do you say to your kids? Are they allowed to have friends over?…

Kids and marijuana–the hills are full of that combination.  The debates over whether that is a bad thing are endless.  But talking about the subject shouldn’t be taboo when many, if not most, growers are parents.  And many, if not most, of the kids in Southern Humboldt grow up immersed in a marijuana world.

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59 comments

  • I remember the screaming terror that helicopters brought on very young children in the hills.

  • Good, interesting article. But I don’t want lots of drinking around my kids and wouldn’t want folks to smoke tobacco around them either so why would I want secondhand marijuana smoke around their growing brains and bodies?

    And the author’s characterization of “living under lock” when they have a gated fence is just silly…city kids lock their doors during the day and these children can roam in the hills with lots of freedom.

  • Good, interesting article. But I don’t want lots of drinking around my kids and wouldn’t want folks to smoke tobacco around them either so why would I want secondhand marijuana smoke around their growing brains and bodies?

    And the author’s characterization of “living under lock” when they have a gated fence is just silly…city kids lock their doors during the day and these children can roam in the hills with lots of freedom.

  • Good read Kym. Thanks for the link!

    • And the author’s characterization of “living under lock” when they have a gated fence is just silly…city kids lock their doors during the day and these children can roam in the hills with lots of freedom

      Good point, Heather. And then there are also the “gated communities” that a growing number of upper-middle-class and wealthy individuals live in. Those kids have to punch in a code or in some cases go through a security checkpoint to enter their neighborhood.

  • Good read Kym. Thanks for the link!

    • And the author’s characterization of “living under lock” when they have a gated fence is just silly…city kids lock their doors during the day and these children can roam in the hills with lots of freedom

      Good point, Heather. And then there are also the “gated communities” that a growing number of upper-middle-class and wealthy individuals live in. Those kids have to punch in a code or in some cases go through a security checkpoint to enter their neighborhood.

  • If parents raise their children around the pot business, they’re usually burned out at a young age from all the smoking and total exposure. The parents are guilty of child endangerment and should be treated accordingly.

    • If parents raise their children around the pot business, they’re usually burned out at a young age from all the smoking and total exposure.

      That’s quite a claim. Care to cite any evidence?

      In my own experience, the great majority of people I’ve met who had growers as parents seem to have turned out great. Of course I know of a few who had problems, including alcohol and drug problems, but those problems don’t seem any more prevalent among those folks than they are among people whose parents aren’t growers. So unless you can show some kind of valid evidence that my experience is the exception to the rule, I’m (to put it politely) very skeptical of your claim that growers’ kids are “usually burned out at a young age.”

      The parents are guilty of child endangerment and should be treated accordingly.

      Do you realize that what you’re advocating would involve taking many tens of thousands of children away from their parents and putting them into a dysfunctional state child welfare / foster care system where so many children end up suffering from various kinds of actual abuse and neglect?

      And as long as you’re going to take kids away from parents who are growers, I guess you’ll want to also take away the millions of kids whose parents drink alcohol to excess, drive too fast, smoke tobacco around their kids exposing them to secondhand smoke, feed their kids an unhealthy diet, etc. — because all of those people are probably “endangering” their kids much more.

      • The evidence is everywhere and obvious. Ask most young people in SoHum to work for a living and most will laugh. Most not all only want to grow pot. The alcohol to pot comparison is apples and oranges. I realize what I’m advocating. I’m an advocate for the thousands of innocent children, whose irresponsible parents expose them to 2nd hand pot smoke from birth. Their immature brains are scrambled before they have a chance to develope. Just because everyone around here does it, doesn’t make it right. Let’s stay on point here and stop the vilifying spin. I’m just talking about pot.

        • The evidence is everywhere and obvious.

          So there’s so much “evidence,” yet you can’t point to any at all. Hmmm.

          If, as you claimed, “thousands” of children were having their brains “scambled” by second hand pot smoke, surely there must be at least one study or survey or bit of census data that demonstrates this effect? Yet all you bring to the table is your opinion, which you state as if it were a fact despite zero actual evidence to back it up.

          Extraordinary claims call for extraordinary evidence. But you’ve provided no evidence at all, you’ve just repeated your unsupported claim and upped the ante on your sweeping generalizations. And on that weak-ass basis you’d turn these thousands of children over to our highly dysfuntional child welfar / foster care system?

          I’m just thankful that you’re not in a position to act on your destructive prejudices, because if you had your way, you’d cause a lot of needless suffering to a lot of children (and parents).

          • I’m inclined to agree with Suzy Blah Blah.There’s nothing, as you say, weak- assed or extraordinary about an opinion backed up with common sense and the obvious. Kids in a room full of pot smoking adults always get a contact high and that’s criminal. Compare it to forcing them to drink several beers a day. We’ve always maintained a separate smoking area. I’m thankful you’re not comtaminating my children with 2nd hand pot smoke.
            Why do you always spin conversations with a demeaning diatribe? Destructive prejudices. The child welfare system. Diet drinks. You have no idea what would happen if I had my way because you haven’t even established what I want. And don’t forget to blame Bush too.

            • Whooooa… I’m not sure what you think we agree on, but if you’re referring to what I wrote about the “young dude grower clones” around here that I find to often be so boring and uninspiring, I think that has to do with this being a small town more than anything like pot influencing them during their childhood.

              I certainly DO NOT subscribe to putting kids into foster care just because their parents smoke pot. Definitely a bad idea. Did you read the statistics that Tra posted about abuse? Talk about common sense. But I do agree about having a separate smoking area. I don’t even like letting pot smoke get near my dog or cats. Or near adults if it’s non-consensual.

            • There’s nothing, as you say, weak- assed or extraordinary about an opinion backed up with common sense and the obvious

              Once widely-held opinions such as “the earth is flat” and “women / black people, Native Americans / Asians / you-name-it are inferior to white males,” were also “backed up with common sense and the obvious.” They were also blatantly false.

              Humboldt has thousands of kids whose parents are growers, and we also have a high school graduation rate significantly higher than the state at large. How do you account for that if thousands of these kids’ brains are “scrambled” and they’re “burned out at a young age?”

              Kids in a room full of pot smoking adults always get a contact high

              Again, a claim with no evidence. You’re batting .0000. Time to change your game plan, or else throw in the towel.

              You have no idea what would happen if I had my way because you haven’t even established what I want.

              What you said (above) is that “what you want” is child endangerment charges against pot growers who have kids, or at least those that meet your ad-hoc criteria for being “irresponsible” by smoking pot around their kids.

              Apparently you didn’t take the time to think through what that would actually mean, because when people are defined as “endangering” their children, one of the consequences of that is that children get taken away from their parents and fed into our dysfunctional foster care and group home system, where a shocking number of them become victims of sexual and physical abuse and neglect, among many other negative experiences. So maybe you’d feel better because the “irresponsible” parents have been punished, but the children would be much, much worse off.

              The point is, “child endangerment” is a very serious allegation to make, with very serious and negative consequences all the way around. Which is why we should reserve that for much more serious forms of abuse and neglect.

              • You’re really on a roll Tra. Your spin has readers confused but that’s your goal.

                Suzy Blah Blah… To set the record straight, I said absolutely nothing about putting kids in foster care or putting them in jail. I was agreeing with you on the YGD’s attitudes. The foster home spin all came from Tra not me.

                I also like this quote fron Not A Native, ” Parents engaged in criminal enterprises and live in fear of detection by authorities and collateral criminal violence are bad role models and create a harmful environment for their children. The State has some interest in protecting children from harmful parents to promote a actualized society and out of ethical obligation to those who can’t protect themselves.” Bet he’s batting .0000 in Tra’s book too, because he makes sense.

                Here’s some common sense Tra you won’t find on the web. Stand on a train track long enough and you’ll get hit by a train. Expose children daily to 2nd hand pot smoke and you will cause negative health effects. If you have trouble with this you’re batting .0000 in the common sense department and living in the pot bubble.

                Again you vilify, demean and use misdirection but it doesn’t prove your point.

                I said theose parents were guilty of child endangerment. I said nothing about having ANYONE arrested. Again that’s your arrogant and elitist spin not mine. You invent what you think we say and then it becomes your reality. Far out man. Too much MSNBC I supose. This is informational and is suppose to make some people think and it has. Even Tra from what I read. This batting .0000 isn’t necessary.

                Let’s try and keep it congenial.

                • The “confusion” and “vilification” is all yours. If these parents are “scrambling” their children’s brains, resulting in children who are “burned out at an early age,” and are “guilty of child endangerment,” which you specifically said is “criminal,” then there would be legal consequences for that kind of child abuse, including charges against the parents and foster care for the children. But apparently actually thinking through the consequences of the inflammatory language you are using is just not one of your strong points.

                  Expose children daily to 2nd hand pot smoke and you will cause negative health effects.

                  As far as the “contact high” claim, this is mostly attributable to the placebo effect, but I suppose if we were talking about a huge amount of smoke, in a very confined space with no ventilaton, then I suppose it’s at least possible that the child could ingest enough THC to feel some effect (though I’m not aware of any real-world cases where this has been shown to have happened). So, don’t close yourself in a closet with your children and then proceed to smoke nonstop. If you know of any parents who actually do that, go ahead and alert the authorities.

                  I think the potential respiratory effects of chronic exposure to second-hand cannabis smoke is a more realistic concern, which is why I wouldn’t recommend anyone smoking a lot of pot indoors in the presence of their children, particularly in a poorly-ventilated space. Of course this wasn’t your claim — your claim was that the kids brains were being “scrambled,” resulting in them being “burned out at an early age,” a claim for which, again, you’ve provided zero evidence.

                  P.S. I love how you whine about “vilification” while you vilify pot-smoking parents, and then you beg for “congeniality” while simultaneously accusing me of being “arrogant and elitist” and so on. Physician, heal thyself!

                • You do seem to be “confused.” If these parents are guilty of “scrambling” their kid’s brains, resulting in children that are “burned out at any early age,” which amounts to “child endangerment,” which you specifically claimed is “criminal” then there would be legal consequences for that, which would involve criminal charges against the parents and foster care for the children. But apparently actually thinking through the consequesces of your inflammatory language is just not one of your strong points.

                  P.S. I love how you whine about “vilification” while at the same time you vilify pot-smoking parents as brain-scrambling, burnout-creating, child-endangering criminals, and how you beg for “congeniality” while simultaneously accusing me of being “arrogant” and “elitist” and deliberately trying to “confuse” readers. Physician: Heal thyself!

        • Oh, and by the way:

          One study by Johns Hopkins University found that the rate of sexual abuse within the foster-care system is more than four times as high as in the general population; in group homes, the rate of sexual abuse is more than 28 times that of the general population.[87][88]

          An Indiana study found three times more physical abuse and twice the rate of sexual abuse in foster homes than in the general population.[88]

          A study of foster children in Oregon and Washington State found that nearly one third reported being abused by a foster parent or another adult in a foster home.[89]

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foster_care

          So yeah, let’s just go ahead and yank those kids out of the arms of loving, non-abusive parents who happen to be pot growers, and feed those kids into our oh-so-wonderful foster care / group home system.

          So what if large numbers of them will suffer horrific sexual abuse in the foster care / group home system — as long as we’re getting them away from the evil influence of the devil weed, that’s all that matters, right?

  • If parents raise their children around the pot business, they’re usually burned out at a young age from all the smoking and total exposure. The parents are guilty of child endangerment and should be treated accordingly.

    • If parents raise their children around the pot business, they’re usually burned out at a young age from all the smoking and total exposure.

      That’s quite a claim. Care to cite any evidence?

      In my own experience, the great majority of people I’ve met who had growers as parents seem to have turned out great. Of course I know of a few who had problems, including alcohol and drug problems, but those problems don’t seem any more prevalent among those folks than they are among people whose parents aren’t growers. So unless you can show some kind of valid evidence that my experience is the exception to the rule, I’m (to put it politely) very skeptical of your claim that growers’ kids are “usually burned out at a young age.”

      The parents are guilty of child endangerment and should be treated accordingly.

      Do you realize that what you’re advocating would involve taking many tens of thousands of children away from their parents and putting them into a dysfunctional state child welfare / foster care system where so many children end up suffering from various kinds of actual abuse and neglect?

      And as long as you’re going to take kids away from parents who are growers, I guess you’ll want to also take away the millions of kids whose parents drink alcohol to excess, drive too fast, smoke tobacco around their kids exposing them to secondhand smoke, feed their kids an unhealthy diet, etc. — because all of those people are probably “endangering” their kids much more.

      • The evidence is everywhere and obvious. Ask most young people in SoHum to work for a living and most will laugh. Most not all only want to grow pot. The alcohol to pot comparison is apples and oranges. I realize what I’m advocating. I’m an advocate for the thousands of innocent children, whose irresponsible parents expose them to 2nd hand pot smoke from birth. Their immature brains are scrambled before they have a chance to develope. Just because everyone around here does it, doesn’t make it right. Let’s stay on point here and stop the vilifying spin. I’m just talking about pot.

        • The evidence is everywhere and obvious.

          So there’s so much “evidence,” yet you can’t point to any at all. Hmmm.

          If, as you claimed, “thousands” of children were having their brains “scambled” by second hand pot smoke, surely there must be at least one study or survey or bit of census data that demonstrates this effect? Yet all you bring to the table is your opinion, which you state as if it were a fact despite zero actual evidence to back it up.

          Extraordinary claims call for extraordinary evidence. But you’ve provided no evidence at all, you’ve just repeated your unsupported claim and upped the ante on your sweeping generalizations. And on that weak-ass basis you’d turn these thousands of children over to our highly dysfuntional child welfar / foster care system?

          I’m just thankful that you’re not in a position to act on your destructive prejudices, because if you had your way, you’d cause a lot of needless suffering to a lot of children (and parents).

          • I’m inclined to agree with Suzy Blah Blah.There’s nothing, as you say, weak- assed or extraordinary about an opinion backed up with common sense and the obvious. Kids in a room full of pot smoking adults always get a contact high and that’s criminal. Compare it to forcing them to drink several beers a day. We’ve always maintained a separate smoking area. I’m thankful you’re not comtaminating my children with 2nd hand pot smoke.
            Why do you always spin conversations with a demeaning diatribe? Destructive prejudices. The child welfare system. Diet drinks. You have no idea what would happen if I had my way because you haven’t even established what I want. And don’t forget to blame Bush too.

            • Whooooa… I’m not sure what you think we agree on, but if you’re referring to what I wrote about the “young dude grower clones” around here that I find to often be so boring and uninspiring, I think that has to do with this being a small town more than anything like pot influencing them during their childhood.

              I certainly DO NOT subscribe to putting kids into foster care just because their parents smoke pot. Definitely a bad idea. Did you read the statistics that Tra posted about abuse? Talk about common sense. But I do agree about having a separate smoking area. I don’t even like letting pot smoke get near my dog or cats. Or near adults if it’s non-consensual.

            • There’s nothing, as you say, weak- assed or extraordinary about an opinion backed up with common sense and the obvious

              Once widely-held opinions such as “the earth is flat” and “women / black people, Native Americans / Asians / you-name-it are inferior to white males,” were also “backed up with common sense and the obvious.” They were also blatantly false.

              Humboldt has thousands of kids whose parents are growers, and we also have a high school graduation rate significantly higher than the state at large. How do you account for that if thousands of these kids’ brains are “scrambled” and they’re “burned out at a young age?”

              Kids in a room full of pot smoking adults always get a contact high

              Again, a claim with no evidence. You’re batting .0000. Time to change your game plan, or else throw in the towel.

              You have no idea what would happen if I had my way because you haven’t even established what I want.

              What you said (above) is that “what you want” is child endangerment charges against pot growers who have kids, or at least those that meet your ad-hoc criteria for being “irresponsible” by smoking pot around their kids.

              Apparently you didn’t take the time to think through what that would actually mean, because when people are defined as “endangering” their children, one of the consequences of that is that children get taken away from their parents and fed into our dysfunctional foster care and group home system, where a shocking number of them become victims of sexual and physical abuse and neglect, among many other negative experiences. So maybe you’d feel better because the “irresponsible” parents have been punished, but the children would be much, much worse off.

              The point is, “child endangerment” is a very serious allegation to make, with very serious and negative consequences all the way around. Which is why we should reserve that for much more serious forms of abuse and neglect.

              • You’re really on a roll Tra. Your spin has readers confused but that’s your goal.

                Suzy Blah Blah… To set the record straight, I said absolutely nothing about putting kids in foster care or putting them in jail. I was agreeing with you on the YGD’s attitudes. The foster home spin all came from Tra not me.

                I also like this quote fron Not A Native, ” Parents engaged in criminal enterprises and live in fear of detection by authorities and collateral criminal violence are bad role models and create a harmful environment for their children. The State has some interest in protecting children from harmful parents to promote a actualized society and out of ethical obligation to those who can’t protect themselves.” Bet he’s batting .0000 in Tra’s book too, because he makes sense.

                Here’s some common sense Tra you won’t find on the web. Stand on a train track long enough and you’ll get hit by a train. Expose children daily to 2nd hand pot smoke and you will cause negative health effects. If you have trouble with this you’re batting .0000 in the common sense department and living in the pot bubble.

                Again you vilify, demean and use misdirection but it doesn’t prove your point.

                I said theose parents were guilty of child endangerment. I said nothing about having ANYONE arrested. Again that’s your arrogant and elitist spin not mine. You invent what you think we say and then it becomes your reality. Far out man. Too much MSNBC I supose. This is informational and is suppose to make some people think and it has. Even Tra from what I read. This batting .0000 isn’t necessary.

                Let’s try and keep it congenial.

                • The “confusion” and “vilification” is all yours. If these parents are “scrambling” their children’s brains, resulting in children who are “burned out at an early age,” and are “guilty of child endangerment,” which you specifically said is “criminal,” then there would be legal consequences for that kind of child abuse, including charges against the parents and foster care for the children. But apparently actually thinking through the consequences of the inflammatory language you are using is just not one of your strong points.

                  Expose children daily to 2nd hand pot smoke and you will cause negative health effects.

                  As far as the “contact high” claim, this is mostly attributable to the placebo effect, but I suppose if we were talking about a huge amount of smoke, in a very confined space with no ventilaton, then I suppose it’s at least possible that the child could ingest enough THC to feel some effect (though I’m not aware of any real-world cases where this has been shown to have happened). So, don’t close yourself in a closet with your children and then proceed to smoke nonstop. If you know of any parents who actually do that, go ahead and alert the authorities.

                  I think the potential respiratory effects of chronic exposure to second-hand cannabis smoke is a more realistic concern, which is why I wouldn’t recommend anyone smoking a lot of pot indoors in the presence of their children, particularly in a poorly-ventilated space. Of course this wasn’t your claim — your claim was that the kids brains were being “scrambled,” resulting in them being “burned out at an early age,” a claim for which, again, you’ve provided zero evidence.

                  P.S. I love how you whine about “vilification” while you vilify pot-smoking parents, and then you beg for “congeniality” while simultaneously accusing me of being “arrogant and elitist” and so on. Physician, heal thyself!

                • You do seem to be “confused.” If these parents are guilty of “scrambling” their kid’s brains, resulting in children that are “burned out at any early age,” which amounts to “child endangerment,” which you specifically claimed is “criminal” then there would be legal consequences for that, which would involve criminal charges against the parents and foster care for the children. But apparently actually thinking through the consequesces of your inflammatory language is just not one of your strong points.

                  P.S. I love how you whine about “vilification” while at the same time you vilify pot-smoking parents as brain-scrambling, burnout-creating, child-endangering criminals, and how you beg for “congeniality” while simultaneously accusing me of being “arrogant” and “elitist” and deliberately trying to “confuse” readers. Physician: Heal thyself!

        • Oh, and by the way:

          One study by Johns Hopkins University found that the rate of sexual abuse within the foster-care system is more than four times as high as in the general population; in group homes, the rate of sexual abuse is more than 28 times that of the general population.[87][88]

          An Indiana study found three times more physical abuse and twice the rate of sexual abuse in foster homes than in the general population.[88]

          A study of foster children in Oregon and Washington State found that nearly one third reported being abused by a foster parent or another adult in a foster home.[89]

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foster_care

          So yeah, let’s just go ahead and yank those kids out of the arms of loving, non-abusive parents who happen to be pot growers, and feed those kids into our oh-so-wonderful foster care / group home system.

          So what if large numbers of them will suffer horrific sexual abuse in the foster care / group home system — as long as we’re getting them away from the evil influence of the devil weed, that’s all that matters, right?

  • The idea of the commune style grower is as much a story as the family grower and both are fairly recent inventions, one has several ” wives” and various kids from various places and seems something right out of the 1960’s. The usual story is very much the single male grower, the outsider, outlaw, on the run from everyone and everything and a past not talked about. Then with 215 passed and Camp focusing on large illegal grows, the small family grower has emerged due to several factors which is changing things in the hills. I hope the areas continue to become much more civilized with families moving in as the old outlaw style has long needed to be weeded out.

    • the small family grower has emerged due to several factors which is changing things in the hills.

      I disagree, I think you’ve got that backwards. The family grower, who was more the norm in the past, is disappearing today, either moving, dying, or quitting growing.

      The usual story is very much the single male grower, the outsider, outlaw,

      I agree with you here, there are more and more of these single male growers on teh scene. I was born and raised in soHum. My parents are/were “mom and pop”, small time growers here since ’74. I was born in the eighties. I grew up, in Kym’s words, “immersed” in the culture, literally.

      What I see is that things used to be more family oriented. I met lots of little kids, children of hippies, at potlucks in the hills and at events in town as I grew up. And now they’re all grown up themselves, and there are all these young male growers in our midst. Usually they get land to grow on through their families. Or the money to buy it through being connected to the community. But it seems that is just the thing that has disconnected them. Isolated them. I don’t see any young people contributing to the community the way our parents did. Our parents were into communal living, sharing, building alternatives, like schools, radio, community center, heath center, and so forth. Dare I say it, they were more spiritually minded. But the philosophy is different now, and the discussion around the bong is not the same as it used to be 20 or 30 years ago.

      Take a look, these young dude growers, YDGs, are all over town. And from having lots of experience of them and interaction with them, what I observe is that most of them don’t really like women too much. Except to have us cook for them, clean for them, do their laundry, be on their arm as a trophy when needed, and of course –be there to get fucked by them– in more ways than one. But as far as being an equal partner with them, ha ha, conversing with them, just try it, communicating, being respected by them, um –need I go on? For the most part they’re chauvinists, self centered, greedy, and really really stupid when it comes to any subject beyond the scope of pot.

      It’s really getting really really disgusting hereabouts. There’s nary a drop of originality or innovation among these YDGs. Basically they are all clones of each other. It’s getting to be that you have to go to another community to find any real men between 20 and 40 anymore.

  • The idea of the commune style grower is as much a story as the family grower and both are fairly recent inventions, one has several ” wives” and various kids from various places and seems something right out of the 1960’s. The usual story is very much the single male grower, the outsider, outlaw, on the run from everyone and everything and a past not talked about. Then with 215 passed and Camp focusing on large illegal grows, the small family grower has emerged due to several factors which is changing things in the hills. I hope the areas continue to become much more civilized with families moving in as the old outlaw style has long needed to be weeded out.

    • the small family grower has emerged due to several factors which is changing things in the hills.

      I disagree, I think you’ve got that backwards. The family grower, who was more the norm in the past, is disappearing today, either moving, dying, or quitting growing.

      The usual story is very much the single male grower, the outsider, outlaw,

      I agree with you here, there are more and more of these single male growers on teh scene. I was born and raised in soHum. My parents are/were “mom and pop”, small time growers here since ’74. I was born in the eighties. I grew up, in Kym’s words, “immersed” in the culture, literally.

      What I see is that things used to be more family oriented. I met lots of little kids, children of hippies, at potlucks in the hills and at events in town as I grew up. And now they’re all grown up themselves, and there are all these young male growers in our midst. Usually they get land to grow on through their families. Or the money to buy it through being connected to the community. But it seems that is just the thing that has disconnected them. Isolated them. I don’t see any young people contributing to the community the way our parents did. Our parents were into communal living, sharing, building alternatives, like schools, radio, community center, heath center, and so forth. Dare I say it, they were more spiritually minded. But the philosophy is different now, and the discussion around the bong is not the same as it used to be 20 or 30 years ago.

      Take a look, these young dude growers, YDGs, are all over town. And from having lots of experience of them and interaction with them, what I observe is that most of them don’t really like women too much. Except to have us cook for them, clean for them, do their laundry, be on their arm as a trophy when needed, and of course –be there to get fucked by them– in more ways than one. But as far as being an equal partner with them, ha ha, conversing with them, just try it, communicating, being respected by them, um –need I go on? For the most part they’re chauvinists, self centered, greedy, and really really stupid when it comes to any subject beyond the scope of pot.

      It’s really getting really really disgusting hereabouts. There’s nary a drop of originality or innovation among these YDGs. Basically they are all clones of each other. It’s getting to be that you have to go to another community to find any real men between 20 and 40 anymore.

  • i asked Eric Kirk on his blog if he allows his children to associate with or stay over at the houses of children whose parents he thinks(knows) are growers. He declined to give a response publicaly. He’s often expressed great concern for his children’s well being and safety so I’d bet he certainly shields them from the families of blatant growers who think growing is a healthy family activity.

    If you’re in the Mafia, you hang out mostly with other Mafioso and their families. If you’re not you mostly don’t. Parents who engage in civil disobedience out of principle can be good role models and provide a positive environment. Parents engaged in criminal enterprises and live in fear of detection by authorities and collateral criminal violence are bad role models and create a harmful environment for their children. The State has some interest in protecting children from harmful parents to promote a actualized society and out of ethical obligation to those who can’t protect themselves. In the US, estimates are that 16% of children are living in public or private foster care.

    Though it makes some uncomfortable to imagine it for themselves, there’s no evidence that children in public foster care fare worse than those living with parents in similar economic and social conditions. Of course, many foster care children have a documented negative life expereince of having been in a unsuitable environment for various lengths of time. We’re all products of our experience, helpful and harmful.

    • NAN claimed “Though it makes some uncomfortable to imagine it for themselves, there’s no evidence that children in public foster care fare worse than those living with parents in similar economic and social conditions.”

      Well apparently you didn’t bother looking very hard for the “evidence” because it turns out that there is plenty of it out there. This article refers to several studies, and a quick web search found many more:

      Children whose families are investigated for abuse or neglect are likely to do better in life if they stay with their families than if they go into foster care, according to a pioneering study.

      The findings intensify a vigorous debate in child welfare: whether children are better served with their families or away from them.

      Kids who stayed with their families were less likely to become juvenile delinquents or teen mothers and more likely to hold jobs as young adults, says the study by Joseph Doyle, an economics professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management who studies social policy.

      “The size of the effects surprised me, because all the children come from tough families,” Doyle says. The National Science Foundation funded the study.

      Doyle says his research, which tracked at least 15,000 kids from 1990 to 2002, is the largest study to look at the effects of foster care. He studied kids in Illinois because of a database there that links abuse investigations to other government records.

      To avoid results attributable to family background, he screened out extreme cases of abuse or neglect and studied kids whose cases could have gone either way.

      Studies, including those by Mark Courtney while at the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall Center for Children, show that the 500,000 children in U.S. foster care are more likely than other kids to drop out of school, commit crimes, abuse drugs and become teen parents.

      His research has shown that this holds true even when foster kids are compared with other disadvantaged youth….

      http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-07-02-foster-study_N.htm

  • i asked Eric Kirk on his blog if he allows his children to associate with or stay over at the houses of children whose parents he thinks(knows) are growers. He declined to give a response publicaly. He’s often expressed great concern for his children’s well being and safety so I’d bet he certainly shields them from the families of blatant growers who think growing is a healthy family activity.

    If you’re in the Mafia, you hang out mostly with other Mafioso and their families. If you’re not you mostly don’t. Parents who engage in civil disobedience out of principle can be good role models and provide a positive environment. Parents engaged in criminal enterprises and live in fear of detection by authorities and collateral criminal violence are bad role models and create a harmful environment for their children. The State has some interest in protecting children from harmful parents to promote a actualized society and out of ethical obligation to those who can’t protect themselves. In the US, estimates are that 16% of children are living in public or private foster care.

    Though it makes some uncomfortable to imagine it for themselves, there’s no evidence that children in public foster care fare worse than those living with parents in similar economic and social conditions. Of course, many foster care children have a documented negative life expereince of having been in a unsuitable environment for various lengths of time. We’re all products of our experience, helpful and harmful.

    • NAN claimed “Though it makes some uncomfortable to imagine it for themselves, there’s no evidence that children in public foster care fare worse than those living with parents in similar economic and social conditions.”

      Well apparently you didn’t bother looking very hard for the “evidence” because it turns out that there is plenty of it out there. This article refers to several studies, and a quick web search found many more:

      Children whose families are investigated for abuse or neglect are likely to do better in life if they stay with their families than if they go into foster care, according to a pioneering study.

      The findings intensify a vigorous debate in child welfare: whether children are better served with their families or away from them.

      Kids who stayed with their families were less likely to become juvenile delinquents or teen mothers and more likely to hold jobs as young adults, says the study by Joseph Doyle, an economics professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management who studies social policy.

      “The size of the effects surprised me, because all the children come from tough families,” Doyle says. The National Science Foundation funded the study.

      Doyle says his research, which tracked at least 15,000 kids from 1990 to 2002, is the largest study to look at the effects of foster care. He studied kids in Illinois because of a database there that links abuse investigations to other government records.

      To avoid results attributable to family background, he screened out extreme cases of abuse or neglect and studied kids whose cases could have gone either way.

      Studies, including those by Mark Courtney while at the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall Center for Children, show that the 500,000 children in U.S. foster care are more likely than other kids to drop out of school, commit crimes, abuse drugs and become teen parents.

      His research has shown that this holds true even when foster kids are compared with other disadvantaged youth….

      http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-07-02-foster-study_N.htm

  • Perspective is everything and I can only speak from personal observance in a small area of something I know about and watched the last few decades considering the 1970’s forward. Back then seeing a woman on these lonely dirt and dust clouded roads was rare. I can count a few living close now, but I saw very few for the first decade until the late 80’s- 90’s. There are a few kids trying to learn the trade from parents, but most end up back in town after a good winter or two. The old outlaws were a breed unto themselves and books could be written on their strange ways. Many of them are gone, but others filled their places and bought their land. Famlies, at least to me, are like settlers back in the old west and at least around here there are quite a few newcomers who are taming the land in their own way. I don’t think the county knows what buildings are on any of these parcels and that has been the way of it for a long time.

    • There are a few kids trying to learn the trade from parents, but most end up back in town after a good winter or two.

      I don’t know where you get that idea from. There are lots of kids here who are growing ten or fifteen times as much as their parents ever did. The ones that are in town are driving back and forth to the land. It’s the parents who could learn a few tips on how to grow from the kids.

  • Perspective is everything and I can only speak from personal observance in a small area of something I know about and watched the last few decades considering the 1970’s forward. Back then seeing a woman on these lonely dirt and dust clouded roads was rare. I can count a few living close now, but I saw very few for the first decade until the late 80’s- 90’s. There are a few kids trying to learn the trade from parents, but most end up back in town after a good winter or two. The old outlaws were a breed unto themselves and books could be written on their strange ways. Many of them are gone, but others filled their places and bought their land. Famlies, at least to me, are like settlers back in the old west and at least around here there are quite a few newcomers who are taming the land in their own way. I don’t think the county knows what buildings are on any of these parcels and that has been the way of it for a long time.

    • There are a few kids trying to learn the trade from parents, but most end up back in town after a good winter or two.

      I don’t know where you get that idea from. There are lots of kids here who are growing ten or fifteen times as much as their parents ever did. The ones that are in town are driving back and forth to the land. It’s the parents who could learn a few tips on how to grow from the kids.

  • Thanks so much for this Kym. I am still learning about the area and probably will be as long as I go there. The responses here help me understand the issue better. As a writer, I wanted to ask questions of the reader. As Jack, I found this family to be so together and so full of love, that it is a tragedy that they could somehow be split up over this issue. I thank you Kym and your readers for educating me and not being snarky in the process like the rest of America. This is why I love Humboldt and the people up there… Thanks again

  • Thanks so much for this Kym. I am still learning about the area and probably will be as long as I go there. The responses here help me understand the issue better. As a writer, I wanted to ask questions of the reader. As Jack, I found this family to be so together and so full of love, that it is a tragedy that they could somehow be split up over this issue. I thank you Kym and your readers for educating me and not being snarky in the process like the rest of America. This is why I love Humboldt and the people up there… Thanks again

  • Also, I cannot imagine reading Kym Kemp everyday for the real stories…Kym, you’re the best.

  • Also, I cannot imagine reading Kym Kemp everyday for the real stories…Kym, you’re the best.

  • Great comments by everyone. Throughly enjoyed the perspectives by all.

  • Great comments by everyone. Throughly enjoyed the perspectives by all.

  • Kym, maybe change *marijauna* in the tags?

  • Kym, maybe change *marijauna* in the tags?

  • Great read-that suzy seems spot on in a generally item- Am blessed that the kids around me,who have been having kids-materially& spiritually are doing more then alright-yet one odd item is; all the cash around in the bust,well food banks & medical clinics go lacking-

  • Great read-that suzy seems spot on in a generally item- Am blessed that the kids around me,who have been having kids-materially& spiritually are doing more then alright-yet one odd item is; all the cash around in the bust,well food banks & medical clinics go lacking-

  • GIB,

    O.K., in the interest of “congeniality,” and hopefully better understanding:

    In my opinion, parents certainly shouldn’t expose their kids to a lot of second-hand smoke, whether it is cannabis smoke or tobacco smoke. If someone has kids, and they are going to smoke, then a separate smoking room, and/or smoking outdoors, is of course the best, safest course of action for the kids. Lots of people smoking, in a small space with poor ventilation is, of course, a bad idea. I suspect we probably agree on most or all of this.

    Where we seem to disagree is your claim that kids’ brains are being “scambled” by being exposed to pot smoking parents, leading to the kids being “burned out at an early age,” and so on. I just haven’t seen any real evidence of that, so it’s not at all “obvious” to me that we have a second-hand-pot-smoke-related-brain-damage problem here in Humboldt or anywhere else.

    Your comments seem to suggest that you know lots of kids who fit that description, but in my own experience, I just haven’t met any. Now I’ll allow that the reason I haven’t met any might be because most of the pot-smoking parents I have known didn’t smoke indoors in confined, poorly ventilated spaces with their kids, or at least don’t do so very often). Of course, your experience (who you know, who you spend time with, and so on) is different than mine, so I can’t be sure that there isn’t some hidden (to me) population of kids who are brain-damaged due to pot-smoking parents — but in the absence of some kind of evidence, I am skeptical.

    Bottom line, I think it’s certainly wise to avoid exposing your kids to large amounts of any kind of smoke in a confined, poorly-ventilated space. I also think it’s wise to avoid feeding your kids too much junk food, letting them spend too much time watching TV and playing video games, etc. And I’m all for educating parents and encouraging them to make wise choices in all those areas. However, less-than-perfect parenting in those kinds of areas does not, in my opinon, rise to the level of “criminal” behavior that we should label as “child endangerment” and treated as such, with the many negative consequences that could result from that.

    If you could convince me that there are, in fact, proven cases of children who have experienced brain damage due to their exposure to second-hand smoke, then perhaps I could be persuaded to change my mind about the seriousness of your “scrambled brains” / “burned out at an early age” claims and therefore my objection to your advocary for treating pot-smoking by parents as “child endangerment” and as a “criminal” matter.

  • GIB,

    O.K., in the interest of “congeniality,” and hopefully better understanding:

    In my opinion, parents certainly shouldn’t expose their kids to a lot of second-hand smoke, whether it is cannabis smoke or tobacco smoke. If someone has kids, and they are going to smoke, then a separate smoking room, and/or smoking outdoors, is of course the best, safest course of action for the kids. Lots of people smoking, in a small space with poor ventilation is, of course, a bad idea. I suspect we probably agree on most or all of this.

    Where we seem to disagree is your claim that kids’ brains are being “scambled” by being exposed to pot smoking parents, leading to the kids being “burned out at an early age,” and so on. I just haven’t seen any real evidence of that, so it’s not at all “obvious” to me that we have a second-hand-pot-smoke-related-brain-damage problem here in Humboldt or anywhere else.

    Your comments seem to suggest that you know lots of kids who fit that description, but in my own experience, I just haven’t met any. Now I’ll allow that the reason I haven’t met any might be because most of the pot-smoking parents I have known didn’t smoke indoors in confined, poorly ventilated spaces with their kids, or at least don’t do so very often). Of course, your experience (who you know, who you spend time with, and so on) is different than mine, so I can’t be sure that there isn’t some hidden (to me) population of kids who are brain-damaged due to pot-smoking parents — but in the absence of some kind of evidence, I am skeptical.

    Bottom line, I think it’s certainly wise to avoid exposing your kids to large amounts of any kind of smoke in a confined, poorly-ventilated space. I also think it’s wise to avoid feeding your kids too much junk food, letting them spend too much time watching TV and playing video games, etc. And I’m all for educating parents and encouraging them to make wise choices in all those areas. However, less-than-perfect parenting in those kinds of areas does not, in my opinon, rise to the level of “criminal” behavior that we should label as “child endangerment” and treated as such, with the many negative consequences that could result from that.

    If you could convince me that there are, in fact, proven cases of children who have experienced brain damage due to their exposure to second-hand smoke, then perhaps I could be persuaded to change my mind about the seriousness of your “scrambled brains” / “burned out at an early age” claims and therefore my objection to your advocary for treating pot-smoking by parents as “child endangerment” and as a “criminal” matter.

  • We seems to agree on much of this issue but after 30 years in law enforcement I’ve seen allot that won’t be found on the internet.

    Children can be affected differently than adults. While large doses of THC act as a CNS depressant, lower levels of THC can act as a stimulant, so kids can go around talking incessantly when exposed to a parent’s smoke. Teenagers’ mood swings can get worse, and some kids become forgetful, angry, or violent after having been in a smoke-filled party room.

    Counselling parents that smoke around their kids could be the first step. As for me, I’m going to fire up the ole bong.

  • We seems to agree on much of this issue but after 30 years in law enforcement I’ve seen allot that won’t be found on the internet.

    Children can be affected differently than adults. While large doses of THC act as a CNS depressant, lower levels of THC can act as a stimulant, so kids can go around talking incessantly when exposed to a parent’s smoke. Teenagers’ mood swings can get worse, and some kids become forgetful, angry, or violent after having been in a smoke-filled party room.

    Counselling parents that smoke around their kids could be the first step. As for me, I’m going to fire up the ole bong.

  • …kids can go around talking incessantly when exposed to a parent’s smoke. Teenagers’ mood swings can get worse, and some kids become forgetful, angry, or violent after having been in a smoke-filled party room.

    Well, with all due respect, I think I’ll withhold judgement until I hear this from some kind of respectable medical professionals.

    In any case, the alleged effects that you’ve just claimed in your most recent post seem like they are a long way away from your earlier description of “scrambled brains” that leave kids “burned out at an early age.” In my experience, it seems like too much sugar often causes kids to act “hyper” (as in “going around talking incessantly”) — but I don’t think giving kids too much sugar really rises to the level of “child endangerment” that should be treated as a “criminal” matter.

    In the meantime, I do think we could use more research on the subject of second-hand cannabis smoke and what kinds of effect it might have on kids.

  • …kids can go around talking incessantly when exposed to a parent’s smoke. Teenagers’ mood swings can get worse, and some kids become forgetful, angry, or violent after having been in a smoke-filled party room.

    Well, with all due respect, I think I’ll withhold judgement until I hear this from some kind of respectable medical professionals.

    In any case, the alleged effects that you’ve just claimed in your most recent post seem like they are a long way away from your earlier description of “scrambled brains” that leave kids “burned out at an early age.” In my experience, it seems like too much sugar often causes kids to act “hyper” (as in “going around talking incessantly”) — but I don’t think giving kids too much sugar really rises to the level of “child endangerment” that should be treated as a “criminal” matter.

    In the meantime, I do think we could use more research on the subject of second-hand cannabis smoke and what kinds of effect it might have on kids.

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