Where does all this weed that Mexican smugglers are boating to Southern California end up?
After all, the legitimacy of medical marijuana in the Golden State means that consumers end up with the some of the highest-grade hydroponic bud around. And that stuff is often grown indoors locally, no?. It's a mystery, but it still comes our way by the boatload:
The U.S. Coast Guard late yesterday announced a huge haul: It found 3.3 tons of weed in the Pacific. In case you wondered, pot floats, apparently.
And it wasn't doing the backstroke.
The bud was tossed in the water after a Coast Guard helicopter spotted a smugglers' boat jetting through the sea Sunday morning about 90 miles west of San Nicolas Island, USCG officials said.
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The Coast Guard Cutter Alert was in the area and responded in time to scoop up 245 bales of weed, according to the USCG. The bad guys got away.
What's it worth? We asked a Coast Guard rep but she told us the military branch doesn't estimate drug value anymore because there are too many variables (quality, wholesale versus resale, cut or uncut, etc.).
We looked at retail prices for marijuana at PriceOfWeed.com and determined the haul would be worth more than $1 million even if it were low-grade pot.
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The seizure comes after a few high-profile attempts this year to get drugs into Southern California via smuggling boats called pangas.
11th Coast Guard District Commander Karl Schultz:
The Sinaloa cartel and other criminal organizations are exploiting these sea routes to move their illicit cargo and fund their broader illegal enterprises ... The persistent presence of Coast Guard assets, along with those of our law enforcement partners, off of California's shores is essential to stop the pangas smuggling people and drugs into the U.S.