Things I Know 336 of 365: You don’t need good grades to be a teen drug kingpin

From today’s Send Me A Story via longform.org (emphasis mine):

According to law-enforcement officials, the sale of B.C. Bud has become a $7 billion-a-year industry. Though marijuana remains illegal in Canada, the stance of the government regarding pot is far less hysterical than in the United States, with laws enforced sporadically and penalties never especially stringent. “Americans like to think they can stop this,” says Donald Skogstad, a defense lawyer in British Columbia who specializes in pot cases. “The Canadian border is five times longer than the Mexican border. There is no fence, no barrier at all, just a curtain of trees. Right now, they’re catching all the dumb people. That’s all the Americans get. They’ll never get you if you’re doing it properly.”

Smugglers have buried stashes in semi trucks filled with wood chips and driven across the border. They have hidden pot in buses, in horse trailers, on trains and in mobile homes driven by gray-haired retirees. They speed across the border on snowmobiles. They kayak backwoods rivers, or fill the fiberglass hulls of yachts and sail down. They fly small planes, low, dropping their loads at agreed-upon locales — farms, raspberry fields — without landing. They have dug a 360-foot tunnel, beginning in a Quonset hut in Canada and ending in the living room of a home in Lynden, Washington. They drag their stashes underwater, behind fishing boats, so the line can be cut if an agent approaches; buoys, attached to the loads with dissolvable strips of zinc, rise to the surface the following day. They float hollowed-out logs, outfitted with GPS tracking systems, down the Kettle River. And some — “the bravest,” says Skogstad, “but not necessarily the brightest” – hike the seven-mile border crossing, through the forest, on foot.

Once Nate hatched his smuggling plan, he and Topher realized that their first order of business would be to scrape together enough cash to make a buy. Luckily, Topher had salvaged a sunken jet boat from the lake in Coeur D’Alene and had spent the summer restoring it. To kick-start their enterprise, he dragged it to the side of the highway and sold it within minutes for $1,500.

– “Kid Cannabis” by Mark Binelli from Rolling Stone Oct. 2005

I’m guessing they didn’t learn these skills in school.

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