Share this story:
A closer look at young people working in the booming marijuana industry, and how they navigate the grey market where growing, selling and possessing weed can be both legal and illegal.
The story of young adults working in the underground marijuana industry, and how these “trimmigrants” come from around the world in hopes of making big money getting marijuana buds ready for market. Trimmigrants: Young People and the Underground Marijuana Harvest [airing soon on NPR’s All Things Considered]
A quick break down of all the reasons a large number of young, overwhelmingly white marijuana trimmers come to Northern California. making up an unexpected migrant farm worker community of trimmigrants. 7 Things You Should Know About Trimming Weed For $$$
A roundup of data on youth marijuana use and its legal repercussions. The Numbers: Youth And Weed [Infographic] return to top Photos
Gabriel, 19, traveled to Garberville, Calif in Humboldt County hoping to find work trimming marijuana, but after a month and a half, he still hasn’t been hired. Photo:
Resin from marijuana buds clog scissors and coat the hands of trimmers. Trimmers often use food grade olive oil to clean their sticky fingers and tools
It’s common for trimmigrants to advertise their services with handmade cardboard signs, like this man in Humboldt County.
Two years ago, the Humboldt County Sherriff’s Dept worked with local journalists to warn trimmers and growers about the dangers of working with people who they don’t know. Photo: Courtesy of Lost Coast Outpost
Kristen Nevedal co-founded the Emerald Growers Association, a group of 400 marijuana farmers from across California. The Garberville resident says that trimmigrants are straining her small town.
A sign on the front door of Flavors, a coffee house in Garberville, Calif, asks customers to leave their backpacks outside. Large backpacks and dogs often go hand in hand with migratory marijuana trimmers known as trimmigrants.
The Humboldt County Sheriffs counted more than 4000 marijuana farms in the county using Google Earth, and they estimate that the majority of which are illegal. However they only have the capacity to bust about one hundred operations a year.
A Humboldt County marijuana grower pictured in front of one of his plants. A single plant grown in full sunlight can produce up to ten pounds of marijuana.
Trimmers prepare the flower, or bud, by snipping leaves and stems, and shaping the marijuana to make it visually appealing to consumers and medicinal marijuana patients.
return to top
ACLU Report: Racial Disparities in Sentencing: The ACLU finds that Caucasians and African-Americans use marijuana at comparable rates in the United States, but that blacks are nearly four times as likely to be arrested for possession.
A study from Humboldt State University:
College Students Working In The Marijuana Industry
The Huffington Post compiled FBI data into an infographic comparing arrest for violent crime versus marijuana possession.
Marijuana in the States 2012: Shenandoah University report examining marijuana arrest and usage data.
FBI’s Crime In The United States: A report comparing 2011 crime stats across the county, which finds there were over 12,000 drug abuse arrests for children under 18 in CA that year.
: An industry trade group report by Arcview Market Research looking at the legal marijuana economy in the US. The State of Legal Marijuana Markets, 2nd Edition return to top
Meet the reporters: Olivia Cueva has been running around with audio equipment since she was 14-years-old. She got her start in journalism with Youth Radio, traveled the country recording stories with StoryCorps, and is now a student at KALW’s Audio Academy in San Francisco. Her work has been featured on NPR, KPFA, KQED, and KALW. She is a Bay Area native passionate about giving people the tools to tell their own stories.
Series Production Credits:
Reporting/ Radio Producers: Brett Myers, Olivia Cueva
Online: Ike Sriskandarajah, Noah Nelson, Denise Tejada, Robyn Gee
Photo/Video: Chaz Hubbard, Luis Flores, Jenny Bolario
Engineers: Brandon McFarland, James Rowlands
Interactive/ Social Media: Asha Richardson
Infographics: Teresa Chin
Communications: Ashleigh Kenny, Rosa Terrazas
Senior Editors: Nishat Kurwa, Lissa Soep
Managing Editor: Rebecca Martin
Executive Producer: Ellin O’Leary
return to top