As the daughter of a back-to-the-land homesteader and pot farmer, I learned never to speak of what my father did. We lived a simple life in times when only growing a few plants could sustain us.
“Say I am a retired schoolteacher,” he lectured. “You don’t want to have to come visit your daddy in jail, do you?”
It’s only recently that I can publicly tell stories from my childhood, of when my dad would pull me into the shade to hide from low-flying helicopters searching for cannabis patches across the hills of Mendocino County, California.
In 1976, he began supporting our family as a black-market grower, planting blackberry bushes and building platforms in the trees to shield his plants from the local marijuana eradication team. When my husband and I began growing, we used the same techniques, tunneling through the blackberries to keep our plants hidden. We now support our two kids, ages 17 and 10, in the market that took shape when California legalized medical marijuana two decades ago.
On Jan. 1, we can come into the sunlight as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act takes effect across California, legalizing recreational cannabis for adults 21 and older. Yet after waiting so long for the trophy of legalization, to finally be free in our lifestyle choice to live off the land, I can’t help but wonder: Will small farmers like me be wiped out by big business?
Yes, New Year’s will be a day of celebration for many, including tech billionaire Sean Parker, who helped bankroll the Proposition 64 campaign to end cannabis prohibition in the sixth-largest economy in the world. Recreational use is now legal in every state along the West Coast. With California poised to earn up to $1 billion in tax revenue, other states likely will follow our lead, which could spur calls for a change in federal law.
After Vietnam, many forward-thinking college graduates like my father, who’d had enough of the government and its wars, moved out to the mountains here. This was the baby-boomer generation – hippies, Deadheads and flower children who decided the mainstream way wasn’t working for them. They wanted freedom, peace and quiet.
My father bought a 40-acre piece of paradise for $5,000. He would build his own home and live on his own time, calmly raising his children off the money he made selling cannabis. When prices were $4,000 or more per pound, even the worst farmer could make a decent living off a few plants.
After harvest, my dad would take us to Baja California, Mexico, in the winter, where we would relax before returning to the mountains to start seeds and plant next year’s crop. While the farmers worked, we kids played in the forest and visited neighbors who were like family.
more recommended stories
AMLO asks Mother Earth’s permission to build Maya Train project
Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Mexican model Vanessa Ponce de Leon wins Miss World 2018 beauty contest
A Mexican model and volunteer was.
Christmastime in Mexico is full of traditions
To say that Mexico is a.
Puerto Vallarta Wins 2018 Gay Cities ‘Fun in the Sun’ Award
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – The warmth Puerto.
Battle between the US & Mexico over the US Dolphin Safe label comes to an end
More than a decade since Mexico.
Mexico will host international Solar Power Fair in 2019
Mexico will host one of the.
Fentanyl lab busted in Mexico City
The Attorney General’s Office (PGR) has.
Man faces 30 years in prison for stabbing his wife in Merida
Erick. G.L was arrested for the.
Teotihuacán flower carpet sets new Guinness World Record
With an extension of 17,805.19 square.
2018: the year the migration crisis swept the Americas and reached the doorstep of the U.S
Mexico City (AFP) – From the.