Ametha

Ametha

30 years old

Average income: $200-300 per day

Works several weeks per season

Average income per season: $2,800

2nd year trimming


“I guess I think 40 hours a week gives you a low quality of life. Paying taxes when your wage is already so low is disheartening.”

Where do you live? 

I live a few places.

Do you live seasonally, with different kinds of work? 

Yes.

How many places do you live? 

Three.

What are the other jobs you do?

I do food delivery on a bike–bicycle delivery, I work at festivals, I do sex work, and other artist assistant type stuff. And I trim.

How did you get into the marijuana industry?

Just through friends. Every time I have come to work in different places it’s been with a friend. I’ve never hung out and waited to meet anybody, or had a sign or anything like that.

Is this one of your primary sources of income?

Yes.

If you didn’t have access to trimming for income, how would that impact you?

It would be very inconvenient. I would probably end up doing sex work and that would have a whole different set of impacts on my life. God, I feel like such a deviant saying this.

Don’t. I don’t see it that way. You said that doing sex work would have a whole different set of impacts. What does that mean?

At this point, it’s less desirable.

How come?

That work is very emotionally trying. And at this point I would rather space out and stare at my hands for 12 hours than compromise my mental landscape. Even though I make more money doing that. I mean, doing sex work I can make in an hour what I make in a whole day doing this.

Why do you take the risk of participating in the [marijuana farming] industry?

I don’t even see it as a risk. At the level I am, it’s not a risk. Except for not getting paid. And right now I don’t feel stressed about that.

It doesn’t feel risky compared to other risks you take?

No, not at all.

Do you have a criminal record?

No.

But the other work you do is risky?

Yes.

In general, how do you think the industry effects people?

I would say, as far as trimmers and low-level people, it gives us a lot of opportunities to move and do a lot of travelling. There are some who will spend it on a good fast time, but it gives people the option to go to school—not college, but specialized schools, I know a lot of people who do that. It gives us the time and money to do what we want for awhile. Which is important. For me at least.

“‘Cause honestly, I don’t understand how people survive in regular jobs.”

Do you have a plan?

Any number of things could happen. I’m in and out of school a lot. When I think about myself in ten years I hope I’ll be a librarian somewhere and won’t be trimming pot, or working festivals, or doing what I do. But working, and leaving a lifestyle where I have a lot of money and a lot of freedom is going to be a difficult transition. ‘Cause honestly, I don’t understand how people survive in regular jobs.

Why?

I guess I think 40 hours a week gives you a low quality of life. Paying taxes when your wage is already so low is disheartening. And, I guess, like it is in part where I come from. My mom worked overnights in grocery stores, and worked at Olive Garden, and worked all these crappy jobs and barely made ends meet.