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