Most Epic Marijuana Busts in History

Most Epic Marijuana Busts in History

Believe it or not, even though marijuana is steadily gaining traction as a legal way to enjoy being human around the globe, the majority of countries (read that: governments) still outlaw the plant and continue to prosecute perps to the fullest degree of their Draconian laws.

While the cat-and-mouse game continues to play out between police and legal pot users, there are far more massive drug smuggling operations going on behind the scenes all over the world. Where marijuana is still illegal, there are massive profits to be made via the black market. If you thought getting caught with that pencil-sized blunt back in high school was bad, here are some of the biggest and most epic marijuana busts in recent history.

30-tons of US-Mexico tunnel weed

In 2010, the American DEA and its shadowy arm known as the San Diego Tunnel Task Force seized over 30-tons of Mexican marijuana in one of the largest busts in American history. After surveilling a suspicious warehouse in Otey Mesa, California, officers set up a checkpoint after a semi was seen leaving the location.

What they found was the beginning of a drug bust so massive in scale that it led to the discovery of an 1,800-foot tunnel burrowed from Tijuana to California and the confiscation of 30-tons of low-grade Mexican cannabis. At the time, a bust this size was worth around $20 million which just goes to show that there’s still plenty of money to be made in selling nasty brick-dope to places where the good stuff is still illegal.

And you thought 30-tons was bad!

Remaining focused on our neighbor to the South, the largest pot bust in Mexican history took place later that year to the tune of 105-tons! After a probably bad-ass Desperado-like pre-dawn gunfight in- you guessed it- Tijuana, Mexican authorities seized the massive haul from a warehouse in which six cargo containers full of cartel cannabis were discovered.

With a street value of over $275 million, perhaps the best part of this bust was the Homer Simpson image plastered on many of the packages (over 10,000 of them) exclaiming in Spanish: “Voy de mojarra y que wey!!!”.

Rough translation: “I’m going to get high, dude!” Well, not anymore. D’oh!

Operation “Save Our Sierra”

Going back into the marijuana Dark Ages, 2009 was a notable year for law enforcement in the state of California. Roughly the size of Connecticut, Fresno county is mountainous and sparsely populated which makes it an ideal location for illegal outdoor grows. Or at least- it was.

In July of 2009, authorities launched Operation “Save Our Sierra” and confiscated nearly $1 billion worth of marijuana plants and netted 82 Mexican nationals with strong ties to the cartels. Unfortunately, nobody talks about the 330,000 innocent victims that were destroyed in the process; those poor unknowing plants.

Durham Police Turn Blind Eye to Cannabis Use and Cultivation

Durham Police Turn Blind Eye to Cannabis Use and Cultivation

Marijuana users in North England can expect more leniency now that Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg has officially announced that the police force’s priorities have changed.

In an effort to reduce costs, lower the rate of habitual offenders and focus on more serious crimes, the police will turn a blind eye to the Crown Prosecution Service, which mandates that all cannabis cultivation offenders face up to 14 years in jail. A person caught with a small amount of marijuana is now more likely to face a warning than prosecution.

While many critics and anti-drug lobbyists are opposed to having such lax cannabis enforcement measures, there does not seem to be much they can do about it except voice their concerns. Hogg is convinced that a more liberal approach to cannabis legalization and regulation is needed. He has tried using other resources to increase compliance with the Crown Prosecution Service throughout the years, but those measures yielded very few results. Now he is convinced that a more lenient approach is necessary to be more successful and less resource intensive on a police force with limited funds. He says:

“It’s about keeping people out of the criminal justice system and reducing costs. My position is clear – I support decriminalization of users and support debate around the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. I am trying to open up a debate about drugs and drugs policy.”

Hogg is not the only ranking official taking this approach. All across the country, police forces are turning a blind eye to small-time cannabis users and dealers. In the eyes of the law, it is more beneficial to go after large-scale dealers, users and other big-time offenders in order to better serve and protect the people.

While cannabis users across the country may consider this good news, they need to be aware. Anyone caught using cannabis in front of an officer or who has complaints lodged against them for cannabis use will be dealt with, but will be given the opportunity to participate in the Checkpoint programme, the goal of which is to “reduce the number of victims of crime by reducing re-offending.”

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