Mikal Jakubal’s One Good Year follows several people in Southern Humboldt County who work in the area’s biggest economy: Marijuana. Jakubal follows an entire grow cycle with “mom-and-pop” growers who are part of medical marijuana collectives, people who like the majority of residents in SoHum rely on pot as their main cash crop. For three generations, pot has been grown in Humboldt, and each year there’s the refrain
One good year! I’m going to quit growing weed and do _ _ _ _ _, but all I need is just one good year.
And every year there’s some new crisis: Diesel spills, law enforcement, mold, personal stuff, any and all of which which affect and impact the multimillion dollar crop. This Prop 19 election added an even great frisson.
Jakubal, a fifteen year resident of Humboldt County, wanted to capture the culture of SoHum; and this year with legalization looming, he found ganja growers and workers willing to be more open about their lives.
Pot in Humboldt came out of Back to Landers who moved away form the city, grow some bud and found out they could make money selling it to their friends in The City. Prices hit a high of $4,000, Prop 215 passed, and now prices are lower by half as more and more people are forming collectives and growing weed. While some growers stick to the ethos of outdoor and organic, many people are staging grow houses and churning up to four crops a year.
Jubukal’s film is still in production, as harvest is just wrapping up. Ask him about turkey bags and other weird tales of Humboldt he’s collected, about the growers and their families, the local businesses, the economy and culture. And about the challenges surrounding a documentary featuring what is essentially an illegal business. At least on federal level.
Proposition 19 lost in Humboldt County in every precinct but two, reports the Times-Standard
The anomalies came in Arcata, where Proposition 19 won nearly every precinct and was supported by more than 57 percent of voters, and Trinidad, where 58 percent of voters favored the measure,
showing it wasn’t just pot growers who were opposed to the initiative. Arcata has a large student population, which may explain the “yes” votes ; maybe Mikal can explain Trinidad. What Prop 19 did do Humboldt was open up the discussion about branding and recognizing the unique aspects of the county’s crop.
But that one year which will set everyone up for a lifestyle change, travel, school or retirement may just never come. In the meantime, we have Jakubal’s film to look forward to.