Ecstasy Trade: 60 Times More E Comes From Canada Than Mexico; Asian Drug Gangs Getting Smarter
Did you know that 1,460 pounds of ecstasy were confiscated by agents at the northern U.S. border between 2005 and 2009? Compare that to 24 measly pounds at the Mexican border -- barely enough for one day at the Electric Daisy Carnival -- despite hundreds of thousands of dudes with dogs and tasers.
While Mexico may get the bulk of security and the stigma of cartel badassery, when it comes to the love drug, we should really be blaming Canada.
Also to blame, surely, are the soulless youth of Los Angeles...
... who gotta have the cuddle pills to enhance their electronic-music experience and make every last greasy stranger in the pit look like their soul mate. (This, of course, sorta backfires when they end up splayed on the floor, bug-eyes rollin' back into their heads like pitbulls with rabies, or -- worst case scenario -- dead at 15.) In fact, we're guessing a good third of the 1,460 pounds was sent straight to L.A. on the Pony Express.
The Economist reports that the Department of Homeland Security has known about the Canada problem for years, and has reinforced "the wall" accordingly:
The United States beefed up its border controls after the September 11th attacks. Although its measures were principally aimed at fighting terrorism, they have made life more difficult for traffickers as well. It increased the number of customs agents along the Canadian frontier from 300 to 2200 and brought in new technology, including Predator drones and surveillance balloons in the air, and thermal imaging cameras and remote video-surveillance systems on the ground. It has also sought greater cross-border cooperation: Canada recently agreed to give the United States 22 additional radar feeds to help detect smugglers crossing over on low-altitude flights. Alan Bersin, the commissioner of America's Customs and Border Protection agency, told a Congressional committee on May 17th that information-sharing with Canada had increased significantly. It is likely to improve further under the agreement signed in February by Barack Obama and Stephen Harper, Canada's prime minister, to explore deeper continental security ties, and as a result of a law passed in January requiring America's government to produce a "Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy".
But that may not be enough. Between 2005 and 2009, according to Univision, the "amount of ecstasy seized at the Canada-U.S. border increased 594 percent." Hot damn. And instead of the vicious Latino drug cartels we love to blame for everything (though, in terms of their weaponry, we should really be looking in the mirror), "the U.S. Department of Justice blames Asian drug gangs based in Canada for a resurgence of ecstasy use."
Writes the Economist: "The more America tries to crack down, the more ingenious the smugglers become."
Once it gets into the U.S., however, the trade gets a strong dose of stupidity. Johnny V. Pham, Valley teen pulled over with 8,000 pills of ecstasy in his ride last month: We're looking at you.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.