Zeroing in on Border Pot Smugglers 

Zeroing in on Border Pot Smugglers 
Posted by FoM on April 26, 2002 at 07:47:30 PT
By Gene Johnson, The Associated Press
Source: Seattle Times
From the window of a U.S. Customs Service helicopter, the man in charge of White House drug policy surveys a section of the world's longest open border, from the sparkling green waters of Boundary Bay to the clear-cut ridges of the Cascade foothills. Marijuana smugglers are increasingly likely to turn to these areas as the government beefs up its staffing at traditional border crossings as part of the war on terrorism, he said. 
The man, John Walters, director of the Office of National Drug Control policy, is making it a priority to stop them. Marijuana — especially the high-potency pot grown in the hydroponic indoor gardens of British Columbia — is a far greater danger, and far more addictive, than most Americans realize, he said. Walters was in Blaine yesterday, the largest northern point of entry west of Detroit, for briefings with a bevy of law-enforcement agents, including some from the U.S. Border Patrol, the Immigration and Nationalization Service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office. Customs has about 190 full-time employees working the border in Washington and is scheduled to receive 81 more, plus two trained in handling drug dogs. Drug seizures have increased markedly along the Washington border in recent years. In fiscal 2001, 7,582 pounds of marijuana were seized at the border in Blaine — nearly twice as much as the year before. Walters said he wanted to learn what law-enforcement agencies are doing in the Northwest and to see from the air the terrain and other obstacles they face. The helicopter's pilot, Mitch Pribble, was eager to show him. As the helicopter took off from Bellingham International Airport, Pribble pointed to scores of boats docked at one of the area's many marinas. Imagine, he said, trying to determine which are legitimate pleasure craft and which are being used to run drugs. Banking the chopper and heading inland, he pointed to Lake Whatcom, where a float plane from Canada had recently been caught landing with 120 pounds of marijuana. Farther east, over the foothills of the Cascade Range, smugglers have started using snowmobiles to ferry drugs across the border, he said. Still, most of the marijuana coming south and cocaine going north crosses at regular border crossings — much of it in large commercial trucks often outfitted with fake floors or walls. "It used to be unheard of to get a 100-pound load. Now a 500-pound load is not unheard of," Pribble said. In the winter, one truck stopped at the border had 34 hockey bags totaling 1,475 pounds of pot mixed in with its legitimate cargo, cases of Foster's beer, said Roy Hoffman, the agent in charge of Customs in Blaine. Technology, including X-ray machines and drug-residue swabs, has helped increase the number of busts, authorities said. Thirty-two cameras have monitored the border between Washington and Canada for about the last year and a half, and authorities have also placed motion-sensor devices in remote areas. Still, having so many drug busts puts a strain on local law enforcement, Whatcom County Sheriff Dale Brandland said. "My jail's full," with 220 people in a facility fit for 148, he said, adding the overcrowding was due to drug prosecutions. Local judges and politicians are starting to talk about easing up on people convicted of marijuana charges, the sheriff said. Walters replied: "I regret to hear that. ... I will tell you that during this administration we are not going to give up." Source: Seattle Times (WA)Author: Gene Johnson, The Associated PressPublished: Friday, April 26, 2002 Copyright: 2002 The Seattle Times CompanyContact: opinion seatimes.comWebsite: Articles:Plugging a Very Porous Northern Border at US Border Posts To Be Armed Battling 'Weak Link' Perception 
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Comment #11 posted by Lehder on April 26, 2002 at 21:00:58 PT
the solution?
REVOLUCION!If you want to get rid of the "swabs" then two George Bushes must be exposed first. The drug war will not be ended as an isolated issue. It defines America. It's not a law as was alcohol prohibition: It's our business, our way of life and a central part of the American psyche. The drug war will end only in conjunction with fundamental changes in our culture and national outlook as a whole, and these will ensue only from a staggering psychological jolt. Fact, sense and reason are unrecognizable by the DEAth Machine. It is possible that the truth about 9/11 and the criminal trials of those who failed to prevent the attack could provide the essential jolt. I have written to my Congressional marionette demanding an investigation of 9/11 and to Cynthia McKinney in encouragement. Or it may be that Americans will awaken only to a protracted oil embargo that cripples the economy, or a world economic embargo in protest of a US nuclear attack, or an agriculturally devastating change in climate. I have no idea. We approach an inflection point where the future is unpredictable. I have been, I'm sorry to say, pessimistic from the outset and can find little of hope today in militarized borders or drug-residue swabs. 
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Comment #10 posted by Lehder on April 26, 2002 at 20:00:04 PT
Technology, including X-ray machines and drug-residue swabs, has helped increase the
   number of busts, authorities said.Expect the "swabs" to soon find extensive use throughout the US. They will be applied to your hands or steering wheel as a matter of course at DWI check points. It's no trouble at all and only takes a moment! And that's just for starters. In the future you will find it necessary to handle your weed using the sterile procedure of a surgeon.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on April 26, 2002 at 15:56:46 PT
More Canadian Border News
America's Responds To Terrorism
Pedlars of U.S. Satellite TV Technology Put on Notice: It's Illegal in Canada
Former CSIS Official Now Warning Americans to Beware of Terrorists in Canada
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Comment #8 posted by PAULPETERSON on April 26, 2002 at 15:17:10 PT:
Remember a few weeks ago I postulated a lot of bfence posts being sunk up north? This sounds like the kind of thing which is starting right now. Bigger budgets, bigger jails, bigger rhetoric about NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER (isn't that Tim Allen's line from Galaxy Quest?). I'll just bet you that the health minister in Canada was threatened by Asa Hutchinson himself, kind of like when he threatened those Maryland legislators into voting that MM bill out (by one vote no less). She was told by ASA that if they went and sold some of that good cave pot they grew, federal agents would come and bust the government people and invade Canada. Or worse yet, she got threatened with hoards and hoards of personal injury lawyers, the unemployed and really hungry ones, like that locust that went extinct a hundred years ago in North America. This mass of hungry vermin would migrate to Canada and would set up shop and advertize for just any little thing to sue Health Canada for selling that demon weed, and boy, if they couldn't get any judge in Canada to bust them, then the Americanos would just start importing some crack Chicago judges, the kind that will always listen to their bosses, the drug companies, the companies that would lose all the profits, the profits that would be lost if just one little joint was sold by Health Canada (HOW AM I DOING, OK?-IS THIS RIGHTEOUS BANTERING, OR WHAT?).Oh yeah, back to the fences. So which company (country, that is) do you think wants the fences? Just which company is going to pay for the fences? Which company gets to aim rifles when their companieros are working the border? And when will the bad guys start using tactical nuclears at our own northern border? Bush doesn't want Canada selling pot, they don't! Will Health Canada get the guts up to JUST SAY NO TO BUSH? Stay tuned, sports fans, I'm thinkin we might just have to wait for the 9th Circuit, out there in SF to save the day (with that Hemp ruling that will come out in about two weeks, I'm guessing). paulpeterson
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Comment #7 posted by BGreen on April 26, 2002 at 14:57:58 PT
I'm not a violent person
As a source of self-preservation, John Walters has to be removed. When it comes down to it, he was never elected in the first place. He is more of a threat to Amerika than any so-called terrorist, yet we appear helpless to stop his evil rantings. He said it himself that this administration won't change. We are the laughing stock of the world.
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Comment #6 posted by hempity on April 26, 2002 at 14:44:39 PT
demon weed faclitators unite in a freer country
I think it may be more important to look at what this means from the standpoint of escape. You folks are all but held hostage in a regime of terror, at least it is what it seems to those of us that get emails from people that want to know how to escape.
Real important for all of you departing the USA
There are cameras surrounding the border crossings for kilometres on either side, don't try to run them, unless you go much further away from the crossing, if you do try, do it at night and wear a mask, once you are over the border throw away your ID and say heh a lot, our police are not hired for intelligence any more than yours are. If you chose rough terrain and cross on foot, remember it is just as rough for them and they don’t have as much to lose but they have 4x4’s , horses and guns, the sensors can look like a thin round tall tube set in the grass, or up nailed on trees, look for anything unusual, you will know the border by the 30 meter defoliant strip (the dead zone) once over that you are in the Village.
Believe me, they will shoot, I have never seen them so frightened you don’t want to scare them anymore.Bonne Chance, mon ami's
Good Luck, my friend's
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Comment #5 posted by Bounce to the Ounce on April 26, 2002 at 14:01:36 PT
more f*cking reefer madness
"Marijuana — especially the high-potency pot grown in the hydroponic indoor gardens of British Columbia — is a far greater danger, and far more addictive, than most Americans realize, he said."ooooh the dangerous, addictive demon marihuana that makes negroes go crazy will get you hooked and kill you with one puff! More scaaaaary words. John Walters is a p*ssy ass d*ckhead that's still living in the dark ages along with the other fossil ultra-conservatives in government. I sure hope he doesn't get cancer and needs that dangerous marihuana to help ease his pain. Man, will that break my heart!
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Comment #4 posted by Jose Melendez on April 26, 2002 at 11:26:06 PT
zeroing in on borders
On Friday, a rocket launcher was pointed toward the village entrance. Residents warned they were ready to do battle with the government if a settlement is not brokered by their elders, who were meeting to find a way out of the impasse. 
Drug War is TREASON!
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Comment #3 posted by MassCrusader on April 26, 2002 at 10:14:36 PT
I will tell you
He should have said, "I will tell you that during this administration we are not going to give up our jobs"
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Comment #2 posted by greenfox on April 26, 2002 at 08:34:47 PT
And by the way...
Courtesy of http://www.dictionary.comad·dic·tive  Pronunciation Key (-dktv)
Causing or tending to cause addiction: an addictive substance. 
Characterized by or susceptible to addiction: an addictive personality. 
nonaddictiveadj : not causing or characterized by addiction; "for years tobacco companies have contended that tobacco is nonaddictive" [ant: addictive] 
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Comment #1 posted by greenfox on April 26, 2002 at 08:33:04 PT
"Marijuana — especially the high-potency pot grown in the hydroponic indoor gardens of British Columbia — is a far greater danger, and far more addictive, than most Americans realize, he said."Just as Dick Cowan says ( we have NO DATA for pot potency before the late 70's, therefore there is no way to know what the potency was.... so how the flying (explitive) CAN THEY JUSTIFY THIS PSUDO-JOURNELISTIC CRAP?!??!?!?!?!Anyways.... safe to say pot has no lethal overdose so.. oh well.Uncle sam doesn't care; he just rotates the lies. Just as a healthy marijuana plant needs to be rotated often, so does a healthy propoganda campaign. Because, too much bullshit in one area starts to stink.sly in green, foxy in kind, lah da dah da dah....-gf
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