EL PASO — Colorado and Washington State approved legal sale and personal use of marijuana last year paving the road for the rest of country to light legally, but, until that occurs, cannabis users will have to procure their weed the old fashioned way — from drug pushers.
The illegal drug providers include individuals who put themselves at the risk of getting caught by police while obtaining the drugs from major traffickers and, then disbursing their product to a plentiful clientele anxiously awaiting their high.
One local drug pusher who travels regularly from here to California to get his merchandise at the best market price now marvels at the irony while drug sellers are just retail merchants paying taxes elsewhere, he is considered a criminal here.
In the meantime, he travels to get the best wholesale price. “They would give me 10 pounds every month, maybe 20,” said a source who wishes to remain nameless. “The whole point for the drive is that you’re getting a cheaper price.”
But Border Patrol and Custom Officers who check travelers routinely continue their hunt for the pushers with the use of non-intrusive search methods and particular strategies such as looking for odd behavioral traits in an attempt to at least delay the cash crop’s trip to the Sun City.
Last month, the El Paso Border Sectors scored two notable arrests listed on their cannabis website. The busts totaled 635 pounds (roughly about $508,000) and the individuals, Jorge Macias and Mauricio Rojo-Mares, both in there thirties are facing charges of failed smuggling attempt.
Ramiro Cordero, Special Operations Supervisor and 14 years field experience, knows the steps he must take to strengthen the iron wall that shields El Paso from the Class I drug. They reeled in 66,940 pounds of cannabis last year.
“If you seem them coming it’s obvious. Criminals will always think of new ways”, said Cordero. “(Seizures) fluctuate, it can go days without, then in a week we can have three or four a day. A lot can influence, such as harvest season”.
Different marijuana laws around the country make it more accessible for pushers to search for better product and cheaper prices, but still faced with the cliché criminal risks of transportation.
“We would find it in tires, gas tanks, glove compartments, you name it, they done it. But you have to be sure. You are dismantling somebody’s car,” said Cordero. “We can do it or I’ll call a contractor.”
With legalization a hot topic around the country NORML El Paso, an advocate group for marijuana, kicked off its campaign at the start of this year. NORML’s headquarters are in Washington D.C. and have units throughout the country promoting their views on the controversial plant.
Meetings have been taking place in El Paso, outlining the benefits of marijuana medically, but also giving insight on what must be done to ignite social change through legalization movements in the city.
“(We) want to bring cite and releases, A & B misdemeanor charges and educated our elected reps,” said Colt DeMorris, the individual leading the charge and the director for the group here. “(We) just started working with Representative Joe Moody and the local government and outlining the next steps”.