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Weed by the Semi-load

You see the semi-trucks rolling all the time and barely notice them. And, unless they have a big Wal-Mart logo, there’s really no telling what’s inside. Sometimes, it’s millions of dollars in marijuana.

A semi-truck that stopped for a Mississippi Department of Transportation inspection last week in Bay St. Louis had what officials estimate was three and a half tons of marijuana on board. It was packed in 126 bundles of about 55 pounds each. Still under investigation is where the load originated and where it was headed.

Interestingly, the day before, sentences were handed down in another marijuana case from last year. 14 people were charged in that incident and all but one has received sentencing. All 14 pleaded guilty to distribution of marijuana charges. The two latest sentences were 7 years, 8 months and 9 years.

So, in Jackson, the judge is handing out years in prison while almost simultaneously in Bay St. Louis, a semi-truck full of weed is being impounded. And the cycle continues. Why is it that no matter how many get put in prison, more step forward to take the risk? Is the money too attractive to resist? Or is it the high unemployment?

It does seem like the busts are getting larger. Perhaps the drug cartels have decided it’s better to risk one roll of the dice with a truckload than it is to try smaller packages in cars. After all, if just one semi gets through, that’s millions of dollars in profit.

The other puzzling part is why we keep seeing these major hauls when marijuana is more or less legal in many states now. The expected result would be a drop in demand as the medical marijuana supply came online. It’s not hard to get a card in California and other states where patients can grow their own supply with little risk of arrest. And yet the smuggling continues and the police seize more and more weed every year. Puzzling.

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