I’m new to the ILGM forums but certainly not new to cultivating cannabis and I wanted to pose a question to all of my fellow growers out there;
Whenever someone asks what I do for a living (new friends, family members, friends of friends, etc) and I tell them that I run a commercial cannabis grow I’ve noticed that I am always met with the same response: “wow. That sounds cool: sitting back letting a warehouse full of plants grow and then collect the cash. Sounds like the life!” Or some similarly ignorant response.
I’ve only had the opportunity to truly school someone about how difficult it is, time consuming, expensive, potentially heartbreaking, precarious, labor intensive and complicated growing MJ truly is and it didn’t really go well. All I got at the end of it was a shrug and a “well, at least you make a lot of money.”
It’s almost come to the point where I don’t tell people anymore. I just say that I run a farm and change the subject or that I’m a biochemist (which is true) and that shuts most people up because let’s be real, who the hell wants to listen to a day in the life of a biochemist?
So I’m interested to know: what are the responses y’all get from people when you tell them what you do? Have you noticed a major misconception about how people perceive our industry and our role in the industry? Are you open about it or do you keep it under wraps?
What have your experiences been and if you’ve attempted to educate people, do you think that you’ve changed their minds or enlightened them or is it all falling on deaf ears?
THEN: How do you all think we can work on busting these misconceptions and stereotypes?
Just a girl curious for some insight from the rest of you fine people.
I live in an illegal state so i got to keep quiet about what i do but it took me 2 year to convince my wife to let me grow now she likes me better because it helps with my issues lol
Wow, you know I hadn’t even considered how insane it must be for people growing on the low in an illegal state.
Do you live with like, constant anxiety? What’s it like having visitors over to your house and whatnot?!
Yes i have anxiety chronic back pain and other issues people don’t visit to often they say i live to far to dive and if i do get a visitor it just my family and they know i grow
Well, I’m a chef. I don’t really tell people about my personal grows, because of thieves. I live in a legal state.
Most people, even old school growers, have no idea what goes into growing primo weed. I tried talking shop with my old weedman, and his eyes glazed over when I started talking about pH, VPD, LST, etc. He got pissed at me, I got pissed at him, so now I only talk about growing on weed forums.
I don’t feel the need to enlighten anybody about weed growing, unless they’re growing, too.
So does your family understand and/or appreciate the level of commitment and dedication and financial investment necessary to grow your medicine on TOP of your chronic pain and family commitments, work commitments, etc? Or do they think it’s no different than growing squash in the backyard?
I live in Missouri and most people know the problems and risks of earning a living growing plants. Farming on any level is day in day out work. Here I am seeing more farms convert to biomass fuel farming. Plants specifically grown to make wood pellets. Looks like this…
Im sure there is lots of work in growing this…Even tho it just looks like pampas grass.
This thing happens to lots of different people and their jobs.
Remember “Money for Nothing” - Dire Straits
All you do is stand there and strum a guitar and get millions of dollars…
Easy to not think about the 40 years of work behind those musicians.
Some of My family has been growing over 40 years now on low down so some it’s no big deal my wife is still a little bit worried about getting caught but know big deal
I currently live in a legal state, but still have general paranoia from many many years of keeping it on the down low. I try to follow most of the laws and rules about possession and growing, but I still have fears of being raided by the police. Also the $$ value of a pound or kilo of dried weed makes it a target for theft.
I just watched a TV preview for a show about American Prohibition, making alcohol illegal, and what that did to our society. Some day in the future there will be a TV show about cannabis, hidden grows, stupid laws, and what that has done to our society.
I know people who have actually been growing longer than me in their basements or back yards but they don’t reeeeaaalllyyyy put the time or effort or investment into it in order to produce awesomely potent plants and you’re right, they have no idea what really goes into growing the dopest dope. They’re ok with growing a scragly plant, with seeds, larfy buds, or generally sad little plants but they’re growing for their own use so they don’t really need to do better. But these are the people who for whatever reason, swear that there’s no need to “make it all complicated” the way we do.
When I first started growing as a younger girl I obviously didn’t begin my grow legally. (does anyone actually?? lol) I did it out of total desperation. It was an 11th hour, hail mary move to help my family survive. I had a semi-decent corporate science job that didn’t pay enough to keep up with the cost of living in my state, one of my two daughters became incredibly ill and her medical costs kept rising, I lost my car, couldn’t afford my bills, and was in real danger of losing everything. I just needed something extra and this was my “risk it all” move to save my family and thank god and the universe above it ended up MORE than paying us back. But as I was making the transition to getting licensed and whatnot and started disclosing to friends and family what I’m doing and how I literally dragged my family out of the gutter, I ended up losing relationships with people whom I had loved my entire life because they felt that I was unimaginably irresponsible and selfish for putting myself and my family at such risk in order to achieve a financial gain. They viewed me like they view meth cooks. They chastized me for not being able to pay bills but for purchasing grow equipment and everytime I got a good harvest, I’d take some for my family’s survival and the rest went to upgrading, every single time. No one understood (or very few people) that I was bravely risking EVERYTHING in order to provide my family with the life they deserve without having to choose between gas or food this week, or not being able to afford my daughter’s treatments or medications. Yeah, I guess I could have stuck with my dead-end job and we’d have gone on barely surviving, stressed every week, able to keep my daughter relatively healthy but never able to afford the specialists she required and we’d watch the world go by as we stayed in the same place.
People even told me that I was ignoring my kids to keep up with my “illegal gardening obsession.” They wouldn’t have said that to me if I worked 60 hours a week at an office, or spent all my time spent between 2 or 3 jobs just to stay afloat. They couldn’t comprehend at all why it required so much time and money to keep my grow perpetual AND growing.
I mean, I could care less now because it paid off ten million times over and one of the people who told me that I was no different than a meth cook actually asked for a loan, but it broke my heart to lose friends and family because I was desperate to provide for my family.
In the very beginning I remember being petrified. Not only did I not know what the hell I was doing, but there weren’t these awesome forums to get help from. There weren’t youtube videos, books, websites, live chats, databases filled with information, grow instructions, etc… And on the rare occassion I did run across something that could help me, I was petrified and super paranoid to even ask! Was it a setup? Is this being monitored? Can I be identified or traced? I had to drive a few hundred miles just to buy equipment and I was so uninformed and scared that I wore a wig and sunglasses and rented a car! lol! But that’s how it was.
The stigma attached to our industry, while it is dissipating and getting better, is still shrouded in misconception and misinformation. Nobody, anywhere, should have to hide what they do, or risk life sentences in prison for growing, regardless of the purpose; whether it’s personal recreational, medical, professional, scientific, or whatever. I shouldn’t have had to lie to my kids’ schools or tell my kids to lie to their teachers and friends about what mommy does, even after I was licensed and legal and established in order to protect them from being treated differently by teachers or targeted, etc…
That’s why I am wondering about others’ experiences with bias.
I mean, I agree with you, it isn’t our responsibility to enlighten anyone about our grow, just like it isn’t a nurses job to justify their career or explain that they’re so much more than glorified ass wipers, etc. But on the flip side, we are all the ones who are pioneering the explosion of this industry into the mainstream so part of me feels like it is our responsibility to educate people and get the correct information out there.
So, I guess that’s my stance and my experience but I do still go back and forth with myself about whether or not it’s worth it to even waste my breath trying to explain to people that we’re not meth cooks, we don’t lead charmed lives, we’re not all lazy stoners who kick back and let our plants grow themselves and we’re NOT part of the god damned drug trade. And we don’t deserve to be treated badly or lose friends and family over our career and/or hobby and/or need to be part of this industry - and our children definitely don’t deserve it.
I dunno - I’m just very interested to see if my issues are isolated or if others have gone through the same.
@Budlite - yea I saw the same show!! And you’re right, there’s DEF going to be a documentary about cannabis prohibition in the future. But what’s so awful is knowing how many people are going to have to go to jail or die or have their lives ruined before we get to the point where it’s truly “no big deal.”
I’ve been keeping a journal for the last 8 or so years so that one day my kids and their kids will e able to look back and hear first hand about how difficult it was to get where they hopefully will be by then.
Even when I read my earliest entries I am blown away not just by how far my little family has come, but how far we’ve come as individual states and as a nation since when I first started. It’s even crazier to talk to the REAL pioneers, our heros, the OG growers who legitimately paved the road for us and so kindly passed the torch.
I’m incredibly proud to be a cannabis grower and to be part of this movement. It’s really turned me from a weak, scared, sheltered little girl into a confident, strong, knowledgeable, open minded, compassionate grown ass woman. This industry, in every way, has impressed me with how much I can actually handle. Us growers, professional, home growers, and especially individuals who grow their own medicine while also fighting a disease or disorder are some of the strongest and bravest people on Earth and I am indescribably proud to be a part of this movement and industry.
(yeah - sometimes I get real mushy about it.)
There needs to be alot of education for the general public to accept and appreciate premium products.
You can buy a bottle of wine for $3 or $30. Most people will agree that the $30 bottle is better wine. If you can afford it. Some people will say the $3 wine has the same amount of alcohol, so why pay more.
My wife disapproves of “weed”; she is ok with my CBD, though. Nobody really knows how into weed I am. They’d be shocked.
Educating people about cannabis is very important. I absolutely agree. However, as most cooks will tell you, not many people actually care to see how the sausage is made.
I grow heirloom tomatoes. These tomato strains were passed down from ancestors who saved seeds, appreciated diversity, put in the extra effort to fight pests and disease. They cost more because of the extra effort required. Yet most people will buy hard, red, flavorless tomatoes in the grocery store.
There’s an upscale market for cannabis or other premium products. Some people appreciate the effort, knowledge, and risks. Some people just want a cheap way to get stoned. Someday Philip Morris (or other mega business) will be selling cheap cannabis cigarettes, but the really good stuff will be coming from small independent growers like us.
Now i want a mator sandwich. No crap that sounds amazing. And you are right most people are lazy. I have had tons of friends start growing to find out u just can not water it once a week and leave and quit. A few i nurse down the right path giving them nutes, pots, coco, and so on. Some times they see how well a good system works and continue and get their own supplies but most of the time the quit. I want to have a small community of growers i know. We can trade good flower and never have to worry about buying cannabis again.
We’ll be the boutique, artisanal growers.
@Axemanjake23 right on! Like a community co-op!! That’s an awesome idea!
Sweet…I did study Biochemistry and English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing.
Mine is easy to say. I’m a Disabled Veteran. I was asked one time do you hunt and I said not anymore. They asked why so I said once you have hunted man, hunting isn’t the same and they then shut their pie hole.
I appreciate the discussion you started @the2409labs and kudos to you for taking the leap into the growing of medicine.
I too started growing for a similar reason relating to my financial situation due to health issues keeping me from generating an income to support myself. Have been house bound and unable to work for over two years and had been denied disability coverage due to the state always saying no to first time applicants because like insurance companies that is how they are trained. I’m currently waiting on a date to go in front of a magistrate for an appeal hearing. That will be interesting as I’m not willing to pay a lawyer 20+% of what they will owe me retroactive for the past 2 years assuming he decides in my favor. Should be a hoot at the hearing as I will be straight up detailed with them as to what I’ve gone through with my “incurable” auto immune disease. It amazed me how my doctors diagnosed my condition and all was sent to them but apparently their doctors said I didn’t have what my doctors said I had basically calling my doctors liars. The law is the law and hiring a lawyer wouldn’t change the law and I’m quite certain I can describe in graphic detail what I went through day in and day out with Pan Colitis (ulcerative colitis only worse).
Between the therapy of just growing as well and the medicinal advantages of cannabis and then finally the need to earn an income in order to pay my bills and not become homeless and all.
I’ve mentioned to some of my family members what I am doing and one doesn’t want to hear about it and the other hopes I get “back to work” as I was good at what I used to do (for 26 years) but doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest anymore because it was no longer enjoyable and what I’m doing now makes me happy and that in and of itself is more important than collecting a paycheck doing something that doesn’t excite you and make you happy.
I am in an illegal location so what I am doing isn’t something I talk about much and very few know what I’m doing. If for some reason things happen to where they raid me well that’s when I’ll worry about things. If that happens my defense will be against the state and their rejection of my disability application where they forced me into my decision to support myself with my grows. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I gotta think the constitution etc protects us from the bullshit laws that they have written over the years. I’m not harming anyone and just chasing the happiness that they guarantee all of us.
Anything mother nature offers us should be legal period!
Thanks again for stirring the “pot” so to speak and good luck with all things!
@Skydiver I’ve been through that process as well. The Veterans Administration sent over my complete medical file to the Social Security Disability. The file was over 3 feet thick and want to know what they said in a 12 page letter.
I could still use my “arms and legs” on a normal fashion. They went so far to describe 9 pages of what I couldn’t work in for environments. I appealed 3 times and was denied a total of 4 times.
Luckily the VA finally gave me what they call Unemployable Status. The Federal Government even gave me Student Loan Forgiveness due to the extent of the damage to my entire spine.
Work all my life, get injured serving my Country and then get discarded like a piece of garbage. Yet some mofo that barely worked gets Disability and I couldn’t. The try and true way of the Government. I won’t even get to collect my own Social Security once I am 65 and lucky for me my disability through the VA will mean I won’t ever struggle again.