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Posted: 11/24/2003 1:24:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/24/2003 1:30:39 PM EDT by Dolomite]
"…Some police think the battle may well be over. Rollie Woods, head of vice and narcotics enforcement for the Vancouver police department, noticed indoor growers throwing out unwanted leaves and dirt at a site the city uses for refuse collection. He told the staff there to note the license plate numbers of every such farmer but called off his plan a few months later. "There were hundreds [of cars]. No way we could track them all." At this point he supports legalization, if only so he can concentrate on Vancouver's growing crack problem.

"If it wasn't for pressure from the U.S., we'd just regulate this," says Woods, who has all of six agents pursuing the pot trade. Investing millions more in a crackdown may be of little consequence, he adds. "You could give me a hundred people, and it wouldn't make a difference."

…Prepared product is packed in half-pound lots. Forty bags fit into a typical carry-on suitcase. Small-scale marijuana smugglers, or "rabbits," run dope to the U.S in car rides, marathon jogs, three-hour kayak trips or floating hollowed-out logs on the tide. The Mounties, with a patrol fleet of just four boats, are not a big worry on the water.

"You can get 80 pounds into a backpack, and you get big legs running over the mountain," says Paul de Felice, co-owner of the Holy Smoke smokeasy in the eastern B.C. town of Nelson. "I've seen them so nervous they vomit before they take off--but I never see them stop."

As in all business, it is important to manage risk. Jeff would first try a smuggling method with 50 pounds; if it worked, he would try 100, then 300. He moved pot in the fiberglass hulls of yachts and in the false floors of long horse trailers. "No border agent wants to unload all those horses, shovel out that manure," he says.

One method: Drag a shipment underwater behind a fishing boat. A zinc strip fastens a buoy and a length of line to the package. If the boat is stopped, the crew cuts loose the shipment, which sinks, buoy and all. The zinc dissolves in the seawater within 12 to 18 hours, and the buoy surfaces with its line tied to the pot, letting Jeff recover the dope. Another method involves bisecting a propane truck, inserting 500 pounds of bud below a false floor and setting the gas pressure in the truck to read as if it were full.

Eventually "you use a lot of planes," he says. "They're faster, they give you more control and you get better prices if you can deliver 40 miles over the border, past the hot zone." Pilots fly low, hugging mountains on the lee side of fire towers. Jeff has retired in the face of exhaustion, a fear of snitches in the network and rumors that the U.S. government has planted an agent in the system, who over time is rising high enough to decapitate a big smuggling operation. When asked how many people in the big operations really leave, however, he says, "Maybe 5%. I've got pilots I made millionaires, and they still fly."

…The estimated value of Canada's marijuana production-up to $7 billion-exceeds its farm receipts of both cattle ($5.63 billion) and wheat ($1.73 billion), or the $4.3 billion taken in by forestry and logging. Only oil and gas extraction, worth $15.8 billion, is worth more.

…Canada’s legal farm operators have net margins of 5.5%. An economist in Vancouver's Simon Fraser University figures pot growers have a 72% annual rate of return, after discounting for costs, labor, thefts and arrests.

… According to a 1999 study by the Institute of Medicine, marijuana addicts 9% of its users. Alcohol addicts 15% of users, heroin, 23% of users, and tobacco, 32% of users.

… Marijuana was effectively outlawed in the U.S. with the passage of the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act. There are now an estimated 500,000 marijuana arrests in the U.S. each year."

forbes.com/free_forbes/2003/1110/146.html
Link Posted: 11/24/2003 1:32:28 PM EDT
Free the Weed. -HS
Link Posted: 11/24/2003 1:55:49 PM EDT
We should just give in, and let the sheeple have their pot. An opiated populace is a happy populace is a complacent populace. Most people think it's a dumb idea, but drugs ARE good! that is if you are willing to take the right measures to insure they don't fight back. The bottom line is: It's easier to get a druggie to do what you want, so give them their pot. Then we'll control them.
Link Posted: 11/24/2003 2:09:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Juell: The bottom line is: It's easier to get a druggie to do what you want, so give them their pot. Then we'll control them.
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You want to control people? How about a War On Drugs - ooh baby - Now that's [i][b]KONTROL[/b][/i]! And how much does it cost to house, feed, care, and fund defenses for the people incarcerated during the half-million pot arrests in this country every year? There are a lot of people supporting families off of our little W.O.D. cottage industry – it’d be unfair to have them loose their jobs and have to go on welfare right? And those poor, poor stupid Canadian dopers with their millions upon millions of dollars – too bad they don’t live down here! We’d have Rush Limbaugh whippin’ some sense into them in no time!
Link Posted: 11/24/2003 6:55:11 PM EDT
The Drug War is a failure on both sides of the border. I suggest we tax and regulate the soft drugs. That should help the federal & state tax problems.
Link Posted: 11/24/2003 8:47:52 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/24/2003 10:56:46 PM EDT
Don't smoke. Don't believe in the war on drugs either, though. Damn good words, Troy.
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