For most people I know, 420 is an excuse to celebrate their weed-inhaling habits and smoke until their brains can no longer function.
But for Patty, a high school sophomore, there’s nothing celebratory about marijuana. This young lady sells weed to make ends meet.
Sixteen years old. On her own. Getting by, by slinging tree.
After getting kicked out of her parents’ house, she started trading dub sacks for food money and a ticket to couch surf and constantly have a roof overhead.
And she’s not the only one.
23-year old Juan, a City College student, scrapes to pay his bills each month by selling artwork and — you named it — selling ganja.
Juan told New American Media he’s picked up valuable skills in the weed trade:
“I’ve learned a lot about people. It takes a good deal of social skills to get in and sell to people. Everybody is a potential customer.”
Before you slap the “get-a-job” tag on either of these individuals, consider this: The youth population makes up 34 percent of California’s unemployment rate. And with job experience essential to getting hired, some are looking to alternate means of making money.
Who can blame them when selling weed can be more profitable than having a minimum wage job.
It’s no surprise that marijuana is a profitable commodity, with sales estimated at $38 billion annually. One pound of weed sells for around $2,500 in San Francisco. Trimmers alone can make upwards of $200 a day working on a weed farm. I don’t know about you, but $200 a day sounds pretty sweet.
Despite the dangers that come with selling weed — shady contacts, a gateway to selling harder drugs — Patty insists she keeps her education and “work life” separate, hoping to go to college in a couple of years and get a degree.
Here’s hoping that she does, because I would love to write a follow-up story seven or eight years from now about how the girl who sold weed to make a living was able to get a full-blown college diploma.