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.