cannabisnews.com: U.S., British Columbia Attempt to Draw the Line





U.S., British Columbia Attempt to Draw the Line
Posted by FoM on April 16, 2000 at 06:17:20 PT
By Luis Cabrera, The Associated Press 
Source: Seattle Times
Lynden, Whatcom County - They toss it across the border inside footballs. They paddle it down in kayaks. They float it down from British Columbia in hollowed logs equipped with global-positioning satellite devices. 
But the marijuana smuggler's favorite method is simply toting it over on foot, in that most Canadian accoutrement, the hockey bag. "They're just big, long, black bags full of dope," said Wes Vanderheyden, head of the U.S. Border Patrol sector in the small town of Lynden. "It seems to be a standard for them," said Keith Miller, assistant chief patrol agent for Western Washington. "They don't talk about it in terms of pounds; it's how many hockey bags' worth." (A single hockey-bag load runs from 60 to 100 pounds.) With its tolerant drug policing and pot-friendly businesses, Vancouver has become known as the "Amsterdam of North America," and British Columbia is home to a $4 billion industry that grows pot four times more potent than the stuff from Mexico. But while Vancouver still looks the other way on discreet, individual pot-smoking, it clearly has had enough of the "Amsterdam" label. Smuggling has boomed as Hell's Angels and other gangs have muscled in. And outnumbered law-enforcement agencies on both sides of the border have joined forces in an unprecedented crackdown. In contrast to the hippie-generation marijuana of the '60s, "The smuggling we're seeing is . . . clearly organized crime for profit," said Dave Keller, chief of intelligence for the U.S. Border Patrol in Western Washington. In the past six months, U.S. agents seized 1,300 pounds of marijuana worth nearly $8 million at an estimated Los Angeles street value of $6,000 per pound, Keller said. That may sound like a lot of hockey bags, and the cross-border cooperation has helped, but Keller said, "We're just getting a very small amount of what's available." Fewer than 50 agents patrol 130 miles of border countryside. Much of the terrain is mountainous or in the watery maze of Puget Sound islands and inlets. In Vanderheyden's Lynden sector, about 95 miles north of Seattle, a dozen agents have orders to nab every bag-toting traveler dodging across a 63-mile stretch of dairy pasture, farms and forest. A six-foot grassy ditch is the international divide between Boundary Road in the United States and Zero Avenue in Canada. A favorite ploy of smugglers, Vanderheyden said, is to wait with their hockey bag on the Canadian side of the ditch until their contact drives up on the U.S. side. The trunk pops open, the bag is tossed in and the smuggler hops back into Canada. Once back across the ditch, "they can stand there in the middle of the road and do this," he said, sticking his thumbs in his ears and waggling his fingers. Smugglers can turn to an Internet site that lists the U.S. Border Patrol offices and patrols, said Inspector Dick Grattan, officer in charge of the Vancouver Customs and Excise section for Canadian Customs. "If you're clever and you plan, you're going to get it over," said Marc Emery, B.C.'s "Prince of Pot," who publishes a magazine about cannabis and sells marijuana seeds over the Internet. "You really have to be stupid to get caught," Emery said, sipping herbal tea in the Blunt Bros cafe in Vancouver. Pot smoke wafted from a glass-walled lounge where patrons stood chatting and openly puffing joints. But such scenes are becoming more scarce. Several coffeehouses and cannabis-based businesses have lost their licenses or been raided by police recently. Dozens of Vancouver's estimated 4,500 home-growing operations have been raided in the past two months. Emery was forced in 1998 to sell his Cannabis Cafe, where pot-smoking was allowed at tables, after the city yanked his business license. By his count, his assets have been seized four times, he has been jailed eight times and he has pleaded guilty to 23 drug-related charges in the last few years. However, he has received little jail time. Emery speculates that a U.S. court would have jailed him "for life, forever." Sunday, April 16, 2000Copyright  2000 The Seattle Times Related Article:Tripping Down British Columbia's Ho Chi Minh Trail http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread2397.shtmlCannabisNews Articles On Border Issues:http://google.com/search?lc=www&num=10&q=cannabisnews+border+site:cannabisnews.com
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Comment #5 posted by Dankhank on April 16, 2000 at 16:40:53 PT:
yes ...indeed
Birds LOVE hemp seed ...need you have wondered?:-)Peace ...
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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on April 16, 2000 at 15:45:17 PT:
Evolutionary pressures
'Smuggling has boomed as Hell's Angels and other gangs have muscled in. And outnumbered law-enforcement agencies on both sides of the border have joined forces in an unprecedented crackdown. In contrast to the hippie-generation marijuana of the '60s, "The smuggling we're seeing is . . . clearly organized crime for profit," said Dave Keller, chief of intelligence for the U.S. Border Patrol in Western Washington. 'Children, can you say "black market"? The logical consequence of making any substance illegal is increasing its' value. Its' price. And with 5,000 years of recorded human history, there has not been a single deviation from this pattern. Not a one. So, why is it that pols, LEOs and bureaucrats think that this time, they *will* win? The word for this is hubris, and this government has enough to stock it well into the *next* millennium.The DrugWar created huge profits from nothing more than weeds, sap from poppies and coca bush leaves. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure that the first people to try to fill the new economic niche of illegal drugs would be the ones closest to its' production, the Moms and Pops. Farmer Brown and his wife. Nice folks actually, they just do a little growing on the side. But with big money comes big trouble, and those with a penchant for violence move in on the M&P' s driving them out and/or killing them. So what are you left with? Something a lot worse than M&P could ever be. All thanks to stupid laws and the enforcement of stupid laws. Then the 'cost of business' drives the price even higher, the groups become ever more organized, more well equipped, and increasingly dangerous. Then the officers in charge of said law enforcment turn around and boo-hoo about the violence in the market. Violence that they helped create. And perpetuate. 
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Comment #3 posted by freedom fighter on April 16, 2000 at 12:21:47 PT
3 million times 100 equals 300 millions!
We all should go out and replant every seed we get! We have an obligation as smokers to do that. 3 million smokers dumping 100 seeds everywhere equals 300 million plants that the DEA stole from this country!Everyone knows that DEA chopped down ditchweed more than the real stuff. But I just wondered how much damage DEA had done to the environment. I do know that no sane pothead would smoke the ditchweed. But do the birds eat the seeds from the ditchweed?? Power to the Plant!
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Comment #2 posted by observer on April 16, 2000 at 11:10:35 PT
Hallowed Old Logs
They float it down from British Columbia in hollowed logs equipped with global-positioning satellite devices.Yes ... Dr Carroll and "a member of the Narcotics Bureau" warn us of such devious hiding places in "a letter of vital importance"!``The weed marihuana is grown in every state in the union. [Recently] in the city of Brooklyn, New York, a field of marihuana was found behind a tenament court. The weed was here being cultivated, regularly stripped and dried and sold in schools and at government army posts, inand around New York. The dried leaves andberries are ground up and made into cigarettes,by a simple hand machine.The deadly narctoic is thus easily and quickly prepared for the market. The sale of marijuana is even more difficult to detect and halt thanthe traffic in drugs such as opium, morphine andheroin. They are hidden in fake jewelry cases,in the heels of shoes, women's shoes especially,because the drugs can be secreted in falseheels. Hollow shaving brushes are anothermeans, books with false centers are often used; watchcases are convenient hiding places. The value of drugs thus seized is enormous. Recently a huge supply of heroin was taken. It was concealed in an apparently harmless [shimpent] of 35 barrels of olive oil. The deadly drug was burned in the incenerator of the Bureau of Engravng and Printing.And more vicious, more deadly even than these soul-destroying drugs, is the menace ofmarihuana! ''Reefer Madness, 1936http://crrh.org/hemptv/misc_reefer.html 
Reefer Madness realmovie
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Comment #1 posted by Dr. Ganj on April 16, 2000 at 10:36:45 PT
What Border?
Keep it coming, guys! Fine job! The more people who grow & sell B.C. bud, the bigger the problem it is for the fuzz. They'll never win, and I'm laughing at their feeble attempt at interdiction. Why bother?Dr. Ganj
http://www.hightimes.com
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