Whatcom County is a Pipeline for B.C. Bud

Whatcom County is a Pipeline for B.C. Bud
Posted by CN Staff on May 25, 2004 at 10:54:11 PT
By Luke Henning
Source: Western Front 
In the aftermath of Sept. 11, the Department of Homeland Security has nearly doubled the staff at the Port of Blaine. Marijuana smugglers, however, still are finding ways to sneak "B.C. Bud" across the border into Washington, said Mark Rech, resident agent in charge at the Drug Enforcement Administration office in Blaine. "(B.C. Bud) is being smuggled down from B.C. to every major city along I-5," said Chris, a Bellingham resident and marijuana user who requested anonymity for legal reasons. "The big smugglers bring pounds and pounds of it to larger cities like Seattle and Tacoma, and then it gets distributed to smaller cities like Bellingham."
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police estimated that as many as 3,000 hydroponic greenhouses are operating in the Vancouver area alone but officials do not know how much B.C. Bud actually enters the United States. "The Canadian government needs to open its eyes and look at the problem," Rech said. "Twenty percent of British Columbia's (gross domestic product) is from B.C. Bud." British Columbia's 2003 GDP was approximately $142.4 billion, which makes B.C. Bud a $28.5 billion industry. Seizures at the border are increasing because of more manpower at U.S. Customs, but agents at DEA headquarters still do not understand how big a problem B.C. Bud trafficking is, Rech said. From October 2002 to September 2003, authorities in Blaine seized more than 13,000 pounds of marijuana in 285 different seizures and more than 540 pounds of cocaine in 21 different seizures, according to U.S. Customs statistics. "We've seen huge seizures lately in the last couple years," Rech said. "It gives you an idea of what people are trying to do to get through the border." Port of Blaine authorities have seized nearly 3,000 pounds of marijuana in the past six months, and during that same time, more than 1 million passenger vehicles passed through the port, according to statistics provided by Mike Milne, media relations officer for U.S. Customs. "B.C. Bud is valued at around $3,000 per pound at the border," Milne said. "But once it makes its way down to California, it can go for as much as $6,000." Chris said he could go to Tacoma and get a pound of marijuana for $1,800 but agreed that prices skyrocket in California. He also said prices on the East Coast are nearly double what they are in Washington. "You can get an ounce (in Washington) from anywhere between $180 to $250," Chris said. "But on the East Coast, you might end up spending $300 to $350." According to the DEA, B.C. Bud's average THC content -- the chemical in marijuana that gives users their high ' is between 15 and 20 percent, much higher compared to the average 2 percent THC content found in most marijuana during the '70s. B.C. Bud is the standard for how good marijuana should be, but better marijuana exists, and a lot of it is grown in Washington and California, Chris said. Authorities said they do not know how often marijuana makes it across the border, but they do know it is a lot more than the amounts they seize. "I use the analogy of the carnival game 'whack-a-mole' to explain the situation," Milne said. "You pop (the mole) on his head. He leaves, and then shows up somewhere else, so you pop him again wherever he shows up, but then he just keeps showing up somewhere else." State-of-the-art gamma-ray imaging machines, information systems that share intelligence about travelers' vehicles and criminal backgrounds and highly trained customs staff contribute to the Port of Blaine's ability to catch as many smugglers as possible, Rech said. Milne said people use many modes of transportation and creative hiding spots to traffic B.C. Bud. Smugglers bring it across the border by car, sailboat, kayak and on foot. They also drop large quantities out of aircraft for remote pickups in the wilderness on the U.S. side of the border, Milne said. "I've heard stories of people going on five-man expeditions into the North Cascades to pick up bud," Chris said. Chris said he also has heard of people who float various objects, such as hollow logs filled with marijuana, down rivers while tracking their location with a Global Positioning System unit. But the bigger loads are smuggled into the United States on commercial fishing boats and large semi-trucks, Chris said. In the past five years, customs authorities have seen a growth in the loads people smuggle, from small personal amounts to hockey bags full of 60 to 80 pounds of marijuana, Milne said. Along with the marijuana, smugglers move large quantities of cash across the border. In the past six months, port authorities have seized $1.3 million in drug money at the Port of Blaine, according to Milne's statistics. The DEA has limited manpower and cannot sufficiently control the smuggling, Rech said. Only four agents from the DEA are responsible for drug enforcement in Skagit, Island and Whatcom counties. "You'll always hear about the war against drugs, but it's not really a war," Rech said. "We're just trying to maintain. We're just a small pea in the pod up here." A large portion of the marijuana smuggled passes through Bellingham because of the I-5 corridor, Bellingham Police Lt. Craige Ambrose said. In addition to the growth of B.C. Bud trafficking, other drugs, such as methamphetamines, are a problem in Whatcom County, Ambrose said. "Ten years ago, people couldn't even pronounce the word methamphetamine," Ambrose said. "Now people call it meth. Who knows what drugs people are going to be using 10 years from now. It could be something we've never even heard of." Complete Title: Authorities Say Whatcom County is a Pipeline for 'B.C. Bud'Source: Western Front Online (WA)Author: Luke HenningPublished: May 25, 2004Copyright: 2004 The Western Front Contact: wfront Website: Related Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links Have Made Our B.C. Bud a Growth Industry Bud Report - Seattle Weekly
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Comment #17 posted by Hope on May 28, 2004 at 06:01:29 PT
Cannabis Enthusiast
Although Cannabist seems like a fine's not your nickname. Sorry. Cannabis Enthusiast...Cannabis Enthusiast...Cannabis Enthusiast. 
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on May 27, 2004 at 18:29:06 PT
Cannabist Enthusiast
For some reason, a good vaporizer seems to cost a lot of money. It could be money that many people find very hard to come by. If a fixed or low-income person is able to acquire some sort of effective vaporizer, they, then, have to locate a source of dependable, effective cannabis. Not easy doings for most sick people.Yes, cannabis should be available legally to any enthusiast or any patient in need of the relief that it can provide. Not allowing it to be so has caused much more grief than anyone ever imagined possible.It's been obvious for decades that the egregiousness of cannabis prohibition is not going to be completely corrected in one fell swoop any time soon. We have to keep pressing on, our eyes on the goal. If this spray can help people, and it's made from whole cannabis and proves itself superior as a medication to the synthetic THC products, then it can only be good. Why are good vaporizers so hideously expensive? I can't see how they could possibly be considered reasonably priced for what they appear to be. They aren't made from very precious metals, are they? Vaporizers are great, and yes, I've heard of people building their own, but it's not something everyone can do and the people that can make a good one, seem to want to make a killing on each one sold.I really think the spray will be a wonderful thing for many people. It’s a ‘tincture’ of some sort, I suppose. There will someday, I suspect, be many methods and choices of delivery. In the best scheme of things, the plant would be legalized first. Delivery improvement systems would follow naturally. 
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Comment #15 posted by Cannabis Enthusiast on May 27, 2004 at 14:58:34 PT
Have all of you been living in a cave for the past 10 years? Vaporizers are the solution for a medically safe delivery system for cannabis.
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on May 26, 2004 at 09:41:34 PT
I will be very happy when the day comes that I'm not afraid to speak my mind like I want to do. Cannabis is good medicine. When someone just likes to smoke pot why do they like to smoke pot? My answer is because it makes them feel better and happier. That is medicine. 
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on May 26, 2004 at 09:31:19 PT
As you mentioned recently, perhaps this will allow us to remove more of the sick, wounded, and dying from the 'battlefield'. It would be good. To me, Medical Marijuana has never been a Trojan horse...AT ALL. Not even in the slightest. There are those in dire need of seeing change. The sick, the dying, the imprisoned, the marginalized, the dispossessed, blatant injustice, personal invasion, loss of privacy, hypocrisy, hysteria, scare tactics, over reaching government, as well as the ominous coloring the war on drugs has given our law enforcement and some of our legislators, are all just parts of the whole. I think, in time, many more will join our quest for an end to the eroding power of the war on drugs. This will mean more peace and the growth and prosperity and development that peace insures.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on May 26, 2004 at 08:04:50 PT
Hope and BigDawg
Dr. Russo is a wonderful person. He is dedicated and he cares about us and getting Cannabis medicine to the people. I want the cannabis plant removed from the stigma it has carried because we all know it isn't true. Cannabis is good medicine and Dr. Russo is a gem.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on May 26, 2004 at 07:20:05 PT
Between a rock and a hard place
Dr. Russo is in a tight spot...but not, I hope, as bad as some might think. There is a real need of a good delivery system for people who can't smoke.Smoking is easy for some of us. Some of us just can't or won't do it. Smoke has some nasty things in it. All smoke does. But good cannabis smoke obviously has very many good things as well. We know the value for sure of bypassing the nauseated stomach. Smoke works for some people but not everyone. I think this development is wonderful and I hope it is very successful.I don't think it means the end of all hope for legalization for the smoked medical marijuana people. I see many people out there who won’t quit until the laws are changed.We’re all so lucky to “know” Dr. Russo as well as we do, because of his commenting with us. I appreciate it so much.Thanks Afterburner for all that anger information. I’m saving it for reference.
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Comment #10 posted by BigDawg on May 26, 2004 at 06:20:29 PT
I agree about Dr. Russo being in a tough spot.If I were in his shoes, I feel I would likely play ball the same as he.IMHO, getting Sativex on the market can be parlayed into the death bell for the prohibitionist BS about there being no medical value. Of course the pharms won't want cannabis decrimmed/legalized to keep profits up, but it will put an end to the Schedule One Lie. Once we have crossed that hurdle... we will have made a major step forward.Pharms are ALREADY spending $$$$ lobbying against Cannabis. Sativex will just eliminate another argument.
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Comment #9 posted by goneposthole on May 26, 2004 at 05:51:14 PT
the law of supply and demand
It can't get anymore straightforward than that.Cannabis is in demand. High demand and the pun is intended.How can it be spelled out any other way?People want and use cannabis. Plain, ordinary words staring you right in the face. If somebodies want to track the supply routes originating in Vancouver, British Columbia to all points south, they should enjoy themselves while they're doing it and have a few puffs of smoke just for the fun of it. They might learn a lesson in economics and finance; get a little edumacation, as it were. If the customs agents did or could learn anything at all, they will quit their jobs and find an occupation that not only pays, but helps and serves others, too. Instead of begrudgingly accepting their current sycophantic status of being locked into a homeland security fiasco, they could have a profitable venture and enjoy life. If they want to learn and do things to make life worth living, they would all quit their jobs right now.The unexamined country ain't worth living in.
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Comment #8 posted by BGreen on May 26, 2004 at 05:45:09 PT
People Couldn't Pronounce the Word Psychopath
Now people call them "Police.""Ten years ago, people couldn't even pronounce the word methamphetamine," Ambrose said. "Now people call it meth. Who knows what drugs people are going to be using 10 years from now. It could be something we've never even heard of."Keep cannabis as a prohibited plant and you're bound to introduce a crack+meth+heroin combination to all the little D.A.R.E. puppets that's going to make them drop dead faster than booze.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #7 posted by kaptinemo on May 26, 2004 at 04:09:32 PT:
About as honest an admission as you can get
*Authorities said they do not know how often marijuana makes it across the border, but they do know it is a lot more than the amounts they seize. "I use the analogy of the carnival game 'whack-a-mole' to explain the situation," Milne said. "You pop (the mole) on his head. He leaves, and then shows up somewhere else, so you pop him again wherever he shows up, but then he just keeps showing up somewhere else."*Now...if the futility of this is readily seen by the very people charged with halting it, then it becomes an admission of their institutionalized failure. Not only that, but it also becomes obvious that given this fact, to continue is pointless...unless there's some benefit involved. A benefit which accrues entirely to the successful dealers and the cops, not the consumer. Which is why Mr. Milne seems to balk at making the final link in his up-to-now flawless appraisal of the situation. To do so is to risk censure from his fellow taxpayer-funded leeches for having the temerity to say their jobs are nothing more than pointless makework.
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Comment #6 posted by sukoi on May 25, 2004 at 15:48:52 PT
Off topic but good!
This was posted at the Bush Country Forum in the Marijuana Decriminalization thread. It is an excellent song ("Marijuana") by Phish that really says it all; the truth: is the link to the thread if anyone is interested:
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Comment #5 posted by afterburner on May 25, 2004 at 14:52:25 PT
Beware of Anger and Mad-ness
DAMMADD and MADD overgeneralize their righteous indignation and become a reactionary force attacking our freedoms. Beware of anger; it is a drug that dulls the mind and drives the body to fight-or-flight. Too many important political decisions have been made colored by the drug "anger.""Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness." 
--James Thurber "Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten." 
--Buddha "Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame." 
--Benjamin Franklin "How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it." 
--Marcus Aurelius "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned." 
--Buddha "Anger is a wind which blows out the lamp of the mind." 
--Robert Ingersoll 
Anger Quotes - Anger Quotations, Anger Sayings
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on May 25, 2004 at 11:41:06 PT
I feel so bad for Dr. Russo. He's between a rock and a hard place as we say here in our neck of the woods. A pharmaceutical or the natural plant. I know which one we all would pick. 
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Comment #3 posted by BigDawg on May 25, 2004 at 11:37:05 PT
Comment #2 
was about DAMMADD.Duh :D
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Comment #2 posted by BigDawg on May 25, 2004 at 11:35:57 PT
Why am I not surprised...
... to find that a quick google search shows that they are sponsored by quite a few pharmaceutical companies?No hidden interests here :rolleyes:
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 25, 2004 at 11:29:26 PT
Press Release from DAMMADD 
Dads And Mad Moms Against Drug Dealers Calls For Pharmaceutical Solution To The Medical Marijuana IssueGW Pharmaceutical's Savitex offers alternative to smoked marijuana cigarettesFor Immediate ReleaseNEW YORK/EWORLDWIRE - May 25, 2004 --- The intensity in the medical marijuana debate continues to strengthen as organizations like Dads And Mad Moms Against Drug Dealers (DAMMADD) increase their actions urging legislators, medical and health professionals, and the public to find a scientific solution to the "medical" marijuana issue. "If there are components of the marijuana plant that have true medical value, with today's technology we should be able to identify them and put them into a pharmaceutical product that is tested and safely administered like other prescription medicines," stated DAMMADD Founder Steven Steiner. While pro-marijuana activists have and are promoting marijuana legalization using medical marijuana cigarettes, people like Vermont's Attorney General William Sorrell are continuing to stand firm by countering, "It is absolutely critical for consumers to understand that there is no such thing as a 'safe' cigarette." (5/18/04, Wall Street Journal) Further supporting his position, Dr. Nora Volkov, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, recently testified before Congress saying, "Even if marijuana were found to have some medical property in the future, doctors could not in good faith recommend patients smoke it because it is inherently toxic as a delivery system. When considering new drug therapies, any positive effects must outweigh the negative side effects." (April, 2004) One product, Sativex from GW Pharmaceutical, is available for research. This new marijuana-derived, standardized pharmaceutical product sprayed under the tongue - not smoked - appears to have potential as a medically-acceptable delivery system. If FDA approved, it could supplant crude, tar-laden marijuana cigarettes and provide suffering patients and their doctors access to a genuine medicine. Clinical data resulting from studies conducted in England in hundreds of patients over the past few years is promising. DAMMADD founder, Steven Steiner, said, "Our government can counter the 'medicine by popular vote' trend by finding and instituting a scientific solution. FDA should encourage research into Sativex and other similar products to resolve this problem." DAMMADD has issued an online petition at DAMMADD DAMMADD is a grassroots anti-drug organization committed to helping in the fight against the drug problem in communities, workplaces and schools. The DAMMADD program works in two ways: - Rewards for tips about drug activity that lead to the arrest and conviction of drug dealers. Tips can be provided anonymously, ensuring the safety of tipsters. - Providing public presentations to raise drug awareness throughout the country which empower young people and educate them about the dangers of drugs and drug use. In environments where drugs are prevalent, intimidation and fear suppress public action. Using the DAMMADD system, people can feel secure that information they provide is strictly anonymous. With the added benefit of a cash reward, people are provided with incentive to fight back against the drug activity that is destroying families, friends and communities.
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