Vice Magazine Eyes Humboldt’s Marijuana Culture

A marijuana grow on public lands. (Photo from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office via Emily Brady.)

Every once in awhile it’s useful…or, maybe just interesting…to see ourselves as others see us.  This week Vice–which has been described as “an ever-expanding machine for selling counterculture cool to the world’s largest and most mainstream corporations” takes a look at Humboldt and, its contradictory relationship with–what else?–marijuana. 

The story entitled The Stoners’ Paradise That Is Dreading Weed Legalization examines this area more from the perspective of growers as agricultural workers than drug dealers (though a reference to the “narco-economy” occurs, too.) The writer describes us as “one of America’s most unique farming communities, with around 30,000 people (over a fifth of Humboldt’s population) involved in growing marijuana.”

Emily Brady, who recently wrote Humboldt: Life on America’s Marijuana Frontier, is interviewed for the story and describes the community in a series of colorful images. Here’s a few:

  • I went to a school fundraising event, and they were auctioning off bubble bags (used to make hash from plants), along with knitted scarves and baskets of tomatoes.
  • One dealer I know is a former logger, an honest, kind and generous man whose father is a decorated WWII veteran in his eighties who also grows pot.
  • They are the wealthiest farmers in history, but only because what they farm is illegal.

Though the images Brady paints are mostly positive, the article, as have others before it, looks slightly askance at an entire county making a hefty chunk of change from cannabis farming but still, as a whole, voting to keep pot illegal. (Yes, yes, we know, the 2010 bill wasn’t ideal. But, why do we get the feeling that no bill to legalize marijuana is going to meet with the approval of people whose income depends on it remaining illegal?)

(Note: KHUM and Redheaded Blackbelt–members of LoCO’s media family–are linked in the article.)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *