The Times podcast: Legal weed, massive worker exploitation

A man washing himself in the Eel River
Cristiano washes dishes in the Eel River in Covelo, Calif. The undocumented immigrant from Portugal said he was owed $30,000 from a legal grower who stiffed him after he worked six months on a cannabis farm.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

When California voters legalized cannabis, growers vowed a break from decades of worker exploitation in the state’s agricultural industry. A Times investigation found otherwise.

Today, where it all went wrong and what’s being done to stop it. Read the full transcript here.


Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times investigative reporter Paige St. John

More reading:

Dying for your high: The untold exploitation and misery in America’s weed industry

The reality of legal weed in California: Huge illegal grows, violence, worker exploitation and deaths

Lawmakers want investigation, hearings into ‘Wild West’ of California cannabis and farm work

About The Times

“The Times” is produced by Denise Guerra, Kasia Broussalian, David Toledo and Ashlea Brown. Our editorial assistants are Roberto Reyes and Nicolas Perez. Our engineers are Mario Diaz, Mark Nieto and Mike Heflin. Our fellow is Helen Li. Our editor is Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmin Aguilera, Heba Elorbany and Shani Hilton. And our theme music is by Andrew Eapen.