Colombian President Supports Legalizing Medical Marijuana

Colombian President Iván Duque said last week that he supports the legalization of medicinal cannabis in his country despite his country’s history producing coca, the plant that can be processed into cocaine.

During a trip to Israel, Duque said that he is optimistic about the future for Colombia’s nascent regulated cannabis industry, which this year gained permission to export dried cannabis flower. But he also said that he will continue to fight the influence of violent drug cartels and the environmental degradation in his country caused by cocaine processing.

“In order to plant one hectare of coca in Colombia, two hectares of tropical jungle are destroyed,” Duque told the Associated Press. “The other thing is that to produce cocaine you have a very high carbon footprint. You use a lot of gasoline, a lot of cement,” adding that the dangerous chemicals used during cocaine processing are often dumped in the forest after use.

Duque added that the illegal coca trade in Colombia is still plagued by violence from drug cartels and remaining forces of the FARC rebel group, which continue to fight despite a peace agreement that was reached with the government five years ago. In October, Colombian forces acting on intelligence provided by the U.S. and the U.K. captured Dairo Antonio Úsuga, known by the alias Otoniel, the country’s most wanted drug trafficker. Úsuga was captured in a jungle hideout after being sought by authorities for a career of violence and corruption that went back more than a decade.

“One of the most dangerous criminals in the world, and especially in Colombia, who had ordered the killing of environmental leaders, was Otoniel, the kingpin we captured two weeks ago,” said Duque.

Cannabis Exports Approved This Summer

A conservative politician, Duque has warned how drugs can “destroy” families and issued a presidential decree banning possession of drugs in public areas, contradicting a ruling by the country’s high court that permitted the possession of small amounts of cannabis, cocaine, and other drugs. He also supports aerial eradication efforts to destroy coca crops in his country, which has seen a significant spike in cocaine production. But he believes there is a significant difference between cannabis production for medicinal purposes and full legalization.

“We’re not using cannabis for recreational purposes. We’re using it for medical purposes,” said Duque, who will leave office after an election to choose his successor next year.

Colombia legalized medical cannabis cultivation in 2016, but until this year exports were limited to active pharmaceutical ingredients, a regulation that limited the economic potential of the crop for the nation. But in July, Duque signed a presidential decree to relax the regulations and permit the export of dried medicinal cannabis flower, which is in high demand in foreign markets including Europe and Israel.

“This means Colombia can enter to play a big role in the international market,” Duque said after signing the decree, adding that the Latin American cannabis exports could one day total as much as $6 billion per year. The president also noted that adding the new rules would allow Colombia’s cannabis industry to expand into foods and beverages, cosmetics, and other products.

“We’re seeing a lot of international investment coming to Colombia,” said Duque.

Andres Fajardo, the president of Colombian medicinal cannabis cultivator Clever Leaves, says that Colombia’s climate is perfect for growing cannabis. Situated on the equator, the country gets a consistent 12 hours of sunlight per day throughout the year, while the elevation of cultivation sites in the Andes makes it possible to cultivate high-quality cannabis using less pesticides to control disease and bacteria than other areas.

“If you think about it, greenhouses in other countries are trying to emulate the natural conditions we get here for free,” Fajardo told CNN. “Your factor costs in terms of labor are significantly cheaper.”

Juan Diego Alvarez, vice president of regulatory issues for cannabis producer Khiron Life Sciences, believes that allowing cannabis to be exported from Colombia is only the beginning of a new era for the industry.

“Lifting the prohibition on exporting the dry flower will start a regulatory process which we hope will be performed in great detail, to the highest international standards,” said Alvarez.

Duque traveled to Jerusalem to mark the opening of a Colombian innovation center in Israel, which has more than 100,000 licensed medical cannabis patients. At a discussion panel with the Colombian president hosted by Start-Up Nation Central, which connects governments and international businesses to Israeli entrepreneurs, company CEO Avi Hasson said that collaboration between the two countries can be mutually beneficial.

“Innovation is probably the solution to most of our problems,” Hasson said. “Even those created by innovation, they will still need to be solved by innovation.”

The post Colombian President Supports Legalizing Medical Marijuana appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Heroin handed out for free on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

On Wednesday, the members of the Drug User Liberation Front aka DULF handed out free heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine on the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, BC. It’s the third time that the organization has taken the issue of safe supply into its own hands. Overdose death was declared a provincial emergency back in 2016 and […]

The post Heroin handed out for free on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside appeared first on Latest Cannabis News Today – Headlines, Videos & Stocks.

Walmart Apologizes For Selling Christmas Sweater Featuring Santa Snorting Coke

The year couldn’t end without a holiday retail faux pas from a free-wheeling mega-chain with recurrent issues with third party sellers, now could it?

The extremely ugly piece of clothing in question is a red, white, and blue sweater showing Santa Claus sitting at a coffee table with a pile of something white and three white lines in front of him. The subtle messaging on the wearable item? A cheery line that reads “Let It Snow.”

In a statement published Saturday, the corporation attempted to pass the blame off on a third party seller that had put the sweaters up for sale on Walmart Marketplace.

“These sweaters, sold by a third-party seller on [Walmart Canada’s website], do not represent Walmart’s values and have no place on our website,” the company wrote. “We have removed these products from our marketplace. We apologize for any unintended [offense] this may have caused.”

It’s certainly not the first time that the big-box retailer has been forced to pull products from the shelves after they’ve caused an uproar. Walmart is well known for its battles against music deemed too explicit in lyrical content, but those aren’t the only battles that have been waged on its massive shopping floors. Indeed, offensive products from all corners of the social imagination have made appearances at the chain.

Offensive Products a Recurring Issue

This very holiday season, another third party seller was offering ornaments with scenes from the Auschwitz II-Birkenau concentration camp, the site of the murder of some one million Jewish people during the Holocaust. The products were removed after the Auschwitz Memorial raised concern about their sale on social media.

Walmart has occasionally shown questionable politics when it comes to the products they have chosen to remove from store shelves and their online shopping features. In 1995, the company temporarily canceled a shirt that was being sold in Miami area stores with the slogan “Someday a Woman Will Be President.” The brand initially said that it was not in keeping with “the company’s family values.”

Other items that Walmart has pulled from sale include those that sexualize children, including a “naughty leopard” toddlers costume and junior underwear reading “Who needs credit cards…When you have Santa.”

In 2003, the store took Maxim, Stuff, and FHM magazines off the shelves because they were deemed too explicit for Walmart family fare. (They’ve also declined to sell Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition.)

In 2007, Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann bridled at the inclusion of a fake McLovin’ Hawaii driver’s license that was included with for-purchase copies of Superbad. Walmart agreed to pull the DVD from the shelves.

In 2017, the store was discovered hawking t-shirts that read “Rope. Tree. Journalist. SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED.” That same year, yet another third party seller (who are these guys?) posted a brown cap that had a highly random and unnecessary racial slur included in its product description.

“We are investigating the seller to determine how this could have happened,” said a Walmart representative at the time of the racist hat cancellation.

Apparently, the investigation is ongoing.

The post Walmart Apologizes For Selling Christmas Sweater Featuring Santa Snorting Coke appeared first on High Times.

High Times Greats: Aleister Crowley On Cocaine

In observance of the anniversary of Aleister Crowley’s death on December 1, we’re republishing a special edition of the erstwhile “Cocaine Confidential” column from the September, 1982 edition of High Times, featuring Crowley’s 1917 essay, “On Cocaine.”

Once upon a time, Aleister Crowley tipped off a zealous decency society in Britain to the “conspicuous signs of prostitution” he’d observed in a tiny Scots town. Considering the source, Crowley himself, to be unimpeachable on such matters, the horrified do-gooders dispatched a morality squad to the spot, at considerable expense. When they presently reported no evidence at all of any such thing, Crowley explained, “It is conspicuous by its absence, fools.”

This is not to say Crowley was entirely sane. After his first wife, whom he called the Ape of Thoth, went wholly crazy, he would hang her by the heels in a closet while he entertained girl friends. He named their first girl-child with a string of misogynistic mystical epithets: Nuit Ma Ahathoor Hecate Sappho Jezebel Lilith Crowley, who died, age five, of typhus in Rangoon. He enjoyed few things more, when he was running his fabulous cult playland on Sicily in the 1920s, than watching his female groupies screw animals, which would be bloodily sacrificed just as they achieved orgasm. The only groupie he hexed to death, though, was male: Crowley had him drink some cat’s blood, ordained a day and hour for him to die, and die he obligingly did, on the very second.

Crowley treated cocaine as a test of pure will: Aleister vs. the Drug. There was no way he’d get strung out behind coke. If legions of weak-willed plebeians might become slaves to cocaine, was that any suitable grounds for prohibiting it from superior immortals like Crowley? He wrote this paper on cocaine in 1917, when Britain was already following the USA’s lead in banning pleasure drugs, to Crowley’s vast displeasure: “We are not under the laws and do not enjoy the liberties which our fathers bequeathed us; we are under a complex and fantastic system of police administration nearly as pernicious as anything even in America.”

To “master” coke, Crowley kept bowls of it around at all times, to be snorted as copiously as possible, and the same with mescaline and heroin. The heroin, of course, got decidedly ahead of him. Unlike coke, which is nonaddictive, smack had a special physical magic beyond even Crowley’s monumental will. But this only developed into a tougher test of his powers; for the rest of his life, he would purposely kick smack every few months, creating brilliant crazy occultist fantasies amid the withdrawals, and then relapse directly back into the shit. Of course he eventually died—in 1947, at the age of 72, after more than 50 years of gargantuan drug abuse.

Of all the graces that cluster about the throne of Venus the most timid and elusive is that maiden whom mortals call Happiness. None is so eagerly pursued; none so hard to win. Indeed, only the saints and martyrs, unknown usually to their fellow men, have made her theirs; and they have attained her by burning out the ego-sense in themselves in the white-hot steel of meditation, by dissolving themselves in that divine ocean of consciousness whose foam is passionless and perfect bliss.

To others, Happiness only comes by chance; when least sought, perhaps she is there. Seek, and ye shall not find; ask, and ye shall not receive; knock, and it shall not be opened unto you. Happiness is always a divine accident. It is not a definite quality; it is the bloom of circumstances. It is useless to mix its ingredients; the experiments in life which have produced it in the past may be repeated endlessly, and with infinite skill and variety—in vain.

It seems more than a fairy story that so metaphysical an entity should yet be producible in a moment by no means of wisdom, no formula of magic, but by a simple herb. The wisest man cannot add happiness to others, though they be dowered with youth, beauty, wealth, wit and love; the lowest blackguard shivering in rags, destitute, diseased, old, craven, stupid, a mere morass of envy, may have it with one swift-sucked breath. The thing is as paradoxical as life, as mystical as death.

Look at this shining heap of crystals! They are hydrochloride of cocaine. The geologist will think of mica; to me, the mountaineer, they are like those gleaming feathery flakes of snow, flowering mostly where rocks jut from the ice of crevassed glaciers that wind and sun have kissed to ghostliness. To those who know not the great hills, they may suggest the snow that spangles trees with blossoms glittering and lucid. The kingdom of faery has such jewels. To him who tastes them in his nostrils—to their acolyte and slave—they must seem as if the dew of the breath of some great demon of immensity were frozen by the cold of space upon his beard.

For there was never any elixir so instant magic as cocaine. Give it to no matter whom. Choose me the last loser on the earth; take hope, take faith, take love away from him. Then look, see the back of that worn hand, its skin discolored and wrinkled, perhaps inflamed with agonizing eczema, perhaps putrid with some malignant sore. He places on it that shimmering snow, a few grains only, a little pile of starry dust. The wasted arm is slowly raised to the head that is little more than a skull; the feeble breath draws in that radiant powder. Now we must wait. One minute—perhaps five minutes.

Then happens the miracle of miracles.

The melancholy vanishes, the eyes shine, the wan mouth smiles. Almost manly vigor returns, or seems to return. At least faith, hope and love throng very eagerly to the dance; all that was lost is found.

The man is happy.

To one the drug may bring liveliness, to another languor, to another creative force, to another tireless energy, to another glamour, and to yet another lust. But each in his way is happy. Think of it!—so simple and so transcendental! The man is happy!

I have traveled in every quarter of the globe; I have seen such wonders of nature that my pen sputters when I try to tell them; I have seen many a miracle of the genius of man; but I have never seen a marvel like this.

Is there not a school of philosophers, cold and cynical, that accounts God to be a mocker? That thinks He takes His pleasure in contempt of the littleness of His creatures? They should base their theses on cocaine! For here is bitterness, irony, cruelty ineffable. This gift of sudden and sure happiness is given but to tantalize. The story of Job holds no such acrid draught. What were more icy hate, fiend comedy than this, to offer such a boon, and add “This you must not take”? Could not we be left to brave the miseries of life, bad as they are, without this master pang, to know perfection of all joy within our reach, and the price of that joy a tenfold quickening of our anguish?

The happiness of cocaine is not passive or placid as that of beasts. It is self conscious. It tells man what he is, and what he might be. It offers him the semblance of divinity, only that he may know himself a worm. It awakens discontent so acutely that never shall it sleep again. It creates hunger. Give cocaine to a man already wise, schooled to the world, morally forceful, a man of intelligence and self-control. If he be really master of himself, it will do him no harm. He will know it for a snare; he will beware of repeating such experiments as he may make; and the glimpse of his goal may possibly even spur him to its attainment by those means which God has appointed for His saints.

But, give it to the clod, to the self-indulgent, to the blasé—to the average man, in a word—and he is lost. He says, and his logic is perfect: This is what I want. He knows not, neither can he know, the true path; and the false path is the only one for him. There is cocaine at his need, and he takes it again and again. The contrast between his grub life and his butterfly life is too bitter for his un-philosophic soul to bear; he refuses to take the brimstone with the treacle.

And so he can no longer tolerate the moments of unhappiness, that is, of normal life, for he now so names it. The intervals between his indulgences diminish.

And alas! the power of the drug diminishes with fearful pace. The doses wax; the pleasures wane. Side-issues, invisible at first, arise; they are like devils with flaming pitchforks in their hands.

A single trial of the drug brings no noticeable reaction in a healthy man. He goes to bed in due season, sleeps well and wakes fresh. South American Indians habitually chew this drug in its crude form, when upon the march, and accomplish prodigies, defying hunger, thirst and fatigue. But they only use it in extremity; and long rest with ample food enables the body to rebuild its capital. Also, savages, unlike most dwellers in cities, have moral sense and force.

The same is true of the Chinese and Indians in their use of opium. Everyone uses it, and only in the rarest cases does it become a vice. It is with them almost as tobacco is with us.

But to one who abuses cocaine for his pleasure nature soon speaks, and is not heard. The nerves weary of the constant stimulation; they need rest and food. There is a point at which the jaded horse no longer answers whip and spur. He stumbles, falls a quivering heap, gasps out his life.

So perishes the slave of cocaine. With every nerve clamoring, all he can do is to renew the lash of the poison. The pharmaceutical effect is over; the toxic effect accumulates. The nerves become insane. The victim begins to have hallucinations. “See! There is a gray cat in that chair. I said nothing, but it has been there all the time.”

Or, there are rats. “I love to watch them running up the curtains. Oh yes! I know they are not real rats. That’s a real rat, though, on the floor. I nearly killed it that time. That is the original rat I saw; it’s a real rat. I saw it first on my windowsill one night.”

Such, quietly enough spoken, is mania. And soon the pleasure passes, is followed by its opposite, as Eros by Anteros.

“Oh no! they never come near me.” A few days pass, and they are crawling on the skin, gnawing interminably and intolerably, loathsome and remorseless.

It is needless to picture the end, prolonged as this may be, for despite the baffling skill developed by the drug lust, the insane condition hampers the patient, and often forced abstinence for a while goes far to appease the physical and mental symptoms. Then a new supply is procured, and with tenfold zest the maniac, taking the bit between his teeth, gallops to the black edge of death.

And before that death comes all the torments of damnation. The time sense is destroyed, so that an hour’s abstinence may hold more horrors than a century of normal time-and-space-bound pain.

Psychologists little understand how the physiological cycle of life, and the normality of the brain, make existence petty both for good and ill. To realize it, fast for a day or two; see how life drags with a constant subconscious ache. With drug hunger, this effect is multiplied a thousandfold. Time itself is abolished. The real metaphysical eternal hell is actually present in the consciousness which has lost its limits without finding Him who is without limit.

Consider the debt of mankind to opium. It is acquitted by the deaths of a few wastrels from its abuse?

For the importance of this paper is the discussion of the practical question: Should drugs be accessible to the public?

Here I pause in order to beg the indulgence of the American people. I am obliged to take a standpoint at once startling and unpopular. I am compelled to utter certain terrible truths. I am in the unenviable position of one who asks others to shut their eyes to the particular that they may thereby visualize the general.

But I believe that in the matter of legislation America is proceeding in the main upon a totally false theory. I believe that constructive morality is better than repression. I believe that democracy, more than any other form of government, should trust the people, as it specifically pretends to do.

Now it seems to me better and bolder tactics to attack the opposite theory at its very strongest point.

It should be shown that not even in the most arguable case is a government justified in restricting use on account of abuse; or allowing justification, let us dispute about expediency.

So, to the bastion—should “habit-forming” drugs be accessible to the public?

The matter is of immediate interest, for the admitted failure of the Harrison Law has brought about a new proposal—one to make bad worse.

I will not here argue “the grand thesis of liberty.” Free men have long since decided it. Who will maintain that Christ’s willing sacrifice of his life was immoral, because it robbed the state of a useful taxpayer?

No. A man’s life is his own, and he has the right to destroy it as he will, unless he too egregiously intrude on the privileges of his neighbors.

But this is just the point. In modern times the whole community is one’s neighbor, and one must not damage that. Very good. Then there are pros and cons, and a balance to be struck.

In America the prohibition idea in all things is carried, mostly by hysterical newspapers, to a fanatical extreme. “Sensation at any cost by Sunday next” is the equivalent in most editorial rooms of the alleged German order to capture Calais. Hence the dangers of anything and everything are celebrated dithyrambically by the Corybants of the press, and the only remedy is prohibition. A shoots B with a revolver; remedy, the Sullivan Law. In practice, this works well enough, for the law is not enforced against the householder who keeps a revolver for his protection, but is a handy weapon against the gangster, and saves the police the trouble of proving felonious intent.

But it is the idea that was wrong. Recently a man shot his family and himself with a rifle fitted with a Maxim silencer. Remedy, a bill to prohibit Maxim silencers! No perception that, if the man had not had a weapon at all, he would have strangled his family with his hands.

American reformers seem to have no idea, at any time or in any connection, that the only remedy for wrong is right; that moral education, self-control, good manners, will save the world; and that legislation is not merely a broken reed, but a suffocating vapor. Further, an excess of legislation defeats its own ends. It makes the whole population criminals, and turns them all into policemen and spies. The moral health of such a people is ruined forever; only revolution can save it.

However, let us concede the prohibitionist claims. Let us admit the police contention that cocaine and the rest are used by criminals who would otherwise lack the nerve to operate. They also contend that the effects of the drugs are so deadly that the cleverest thieves quickly become inefficient. Then for heaven’s sake establish depots where they can get free cocaine!

You cannot cure a drug fiend; you cannot make him a useful citizen. He never was a good citizen, or he would not have fallen into slavery. If you reform him temporarily, at vast expense, risk and trouble, your whole work vanishes like morning mist when he meets his next temptation. The proper remedy is to let him gang his ain gait to the de’il. Instead of less drug, give him more drug, and be done with him. His fate will be a warning to his neighbors, and in a year or two people will have the sense to shun the danger. Those who have not, let them die, too, and save the state. Moral weaklings are a danger to society, in whatever line their failings lie. If they are so amiable as to kill themselves, it is a crime to interfere.

You say that while these people are killing themselves they will do mischief. Maybe. But they are doing it now.

Prohibition has created an underground traffic, as it always does, and the evils of this are immeasurable. Thousands of citizens are in league to defeat the law, are actually bribed by the law itself to do so, since the profits of the illicit trade become enormous, and the closer the prohibition, the more unreasonably big they are. You can stamp out the use of silk handkerchiefs in this way: people say, “All right, we’ll use linen.” But the “cocaine fiend” wants cocaine, and you can’t put him off with Epsom salts. Moreover, his mind has lost all proportion. He will pay anything for the drug. He will never say, “I can’t afford it.” And if the price be high, he will steal, rob, murder to get it. Again I say: You cannot reform a drug fiend. All you do by preventing them from obtaining it is to create a class of subtle and dangerous criminals, and even when you have jailed them all, is anyone any the better?

While such large profits (from 1,000 to 2,000 percent) are to be made by secret dealers, it is to the interest of those dealers to make new victims. And the profits at present are such that it would be worth my while to go to London and back first class to smuggle no more than I could hide in the lining of my overcoat! All expenses paid, and a handsome sum in the bank at the end of the trip! And for all the law, and the spies, and the rest of it, I could sell my stuff with very little risk in a single night in the Tenderloin.

Another point is this: Prohibition cannot be carried to its extreme. It is impossible, ultimately, to withhold drugs from doctors. Now doctors, more than any other single class, are drug fiends, and also, there are many who will traffic in drugs for the sake of money or power. If you possess a supply of the drug, you are the master, body and soul, of any person who needs it.

People do not understand that a drug, to its slave, is more valuable than gold or diamonds. A virtuous woman may be above rubies, but medical experience tells us that there is no virtuous woman in need of the drug who would not prostitute herself to a ragpicker for a single sniff.

I still say that prohibition is no cure. The cure is to give the people something to think about; to develop their minds; to fill them with ambitions beyond dollars; to set up a standard of achievement which is to be measured in terms of eternal realities; in a word, to educate them.

If this appears impossible, well and good. It is only another argument for encouraging them to take cocaine.

The post High Times Greats: Aleister Crowley On Cocaine appeared first on High Times.

Feral Hogs Partly Consume Almost $20k Worth of Cocaine in Italy

Feral hogs sniffed out a stash of cocaine that had been buried in an Italian forest by drug dealers earlier this year, according to police who had wiretapped the gang in connection with a murder investigation. The coke, nearly $20,000 worth, was at least partly consumed by wild boar as they dug up the drug and spread across the floor of a Tuscan forest.

Italian police learned of the cocaine-swiping swine during the investigation of the May murder of a 21-year-old Albanian who is suspected of being a drug dealer. After setting up a wiretap to monitor the phones of the gang, made up of one Italian and three Albanians, in connection with the murder, police heard them complaining about the incident.

The gang had allegedly been selling about two kilos of cocaine per month in the cities of Siena and Arezzo in Tuscany from September 2018 until March 2019. They were selling high-quality coke for about $95 per gram in bars and night clubs in the two cities, attempting to conceal their actions by using words as ‘aperitivo,’ ‘prosecco,’ ‘vino,’ and ‘caffè,’ as part of a code that was quickly cracked by police.

The drug dealers had been storing their cocaine in jars before burying it in the Valdichiana Valley. But that wasn’t enough to dissuade the greedy grunters. It isn’t known how many bingeing boar blew through the blow or what became of them.

The four members of the drug gang were arrested following the investigation and the wiretapped phone call. Two have been sent to prison, while the remaining two have been placed under house arrest.

Wild Boar Wreaking Havoc

Coke dealers aren’t the only ones fed up with feral hogs roaming the Italian countryside. Earlier this month, a group of farmers held a protest in Rome calling on government officials to do something about the problem. Coldiretti Ettore Prandini, the president of an Italian farming association, said that the country’s population of wild boar is estimated to be about two million. The wild pigs cause incredible damage to farmlands and wild habitats, and boar on roadways have led to car collisions with fatal consequences.

“It is no longer just a question of compensation but a matter of personal safety and it must be resolved,” Prandini said.

“Ministries and leaders of regions and municipalities must act in a concerted manner to draw up an extraordinary plan without administrative obstacles, otherwise the problem is destined to get worse,” he added.

The post Feral Hogs Partly Consume Almost $20k Worth of Cocaine in Italy appeared first on High Times.

Nearly $400 Million In Marijuana, Cocaine Seized By Coast Guard In Florida

The United States Coast Guard just announced the conclusion of what appears to be a large drug bust in the Pacific Ocean. So large, in fact, that the agency is now back on the mainland to offload several hundred million dollars’ worth of illegal substances.

According to the agency, the busts were the result of efforts from several Coast Guard vessels and crews, along with law enforcement agencies from several other countries.

Massive Drug Busts Off Pacific Coast

The Coast Guard detailed their multiple drug busts in a press release published yesterday. The release also included a number of photos and a link to a video.

All the media feature images of Coast Guard personnel and tons of seized contraband. Specifically, cocaine and marijuana.

All told, the Coast Guard said it confiscated 19 tons of narcotics. Specifically, that includes almost 28,000 pounds of cocaine. That amount of cocaine is reportedly worth an estimated $367 million.

Along with the cocaine, the Coast Guard also said it seized nearly 11,000 pounds of marijuana. The confiscated cannabis comes in at a street value of roughly $10.1 million.

The confiscated drugs, and the busts they came from, were the result of an operation that reportedly lasted six to eight weeks.

Now that the Coast Guard has busted up numerous shipments and seized all these substances, it is back on land to offload it all. The Coast Guard reported that it will do so at Port Everglades.

All of the confiscated cocaine and marijuana came from drug busts off the Pacific Coast of the United States and countries in Central America. In particular, the Coast Guard’s press release stated that the drugs came from 18 separate drug related interdictions.

The interdictions all took place in the Caribbean and the Eastern Pacific Ocean, off the coasts of the U.S., Mexico, and several other countries.

Cooperative Law Enforcement Efforts

The busts were the result of what appears to be a coordinated effort between numerous Coast Guard crews. Specifically, the agency said that there were at least 10 different vessels and crews involved with the drug busting initiative.

The cooperation among law enforcement went further than that. In particular, several other countries were involved in the effort. That includes law enforcement from Colombia, Costa Rica, and others.

“These drugs will not reach Main Street USA due to the efforts of […] Coast Guard cutters involved in these interdictions,” said Captain Jeffrey Randall, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter James, which was heavily involved in the drug busts.

He continued: “The James crew conducted counter-drug operations with the cooperative efforts with regional partner nations, like Colombia, Costa Rica and alongside the agencies involved in Operation Martillo to stop the flow of illegal narcotics into the United States. Due to this cooperative effort, we maintain an offensive against criminal networks and criminal organizations.”

Authorities from other countries also spoke to the U.S. media about the busts.

For example, Rear Admiral of the Colombian Navy, Jose Jauquin Amezquita Garcia said: “Drug trafficking is a tragedy and a threat that is taking lives and tearing apart urban and suburban communities in the United States as well as small villages in the rural areas of Colombia.”

The post Nearly $400 Million In Marijuana, Cocaine Seized By Coast Guard In Florida appeared first on High Times.