Drug Law

Big Deal: $9 Million in Pot Busts In Florida

| by NORML
By "Radical" Russ Belville

Remember, when you read these stories about millions of dollars worth of pot being seized: our estimates put the domestic marijuana market at $120 billion.  That’s $120,000 million, of course, so even if they just knocked out $9 million in Florida, that’s a whopping 0.0075% of the market.  Or think of it this way – for every hundred pounds worth of weed consumed in America, these Florida cops just seized an eighth ounce.

examiner.com Bond is set at $50,000 a piece for two Florida men who police say were transporting $5 million worth of pot mixed in with a truck full of carrots.  It is the second major marijuana bust in the area this week.

They allegedly gave conflicting accounts of what was in the back of the truck and police say one man gave them consent to search the trailer. That’s when they found bundles of pot mixed in with bundles of carrots.  Charged with possession and intent to deliver are Abrahan Garcia-Acosta, 44, of Loxahatchee and Diego Diaz-Perez, 49, of West Palm Beach.

Keep in mind, however, that seizures like this don’t represent a reduction in the market, really.  The estimates of the market take into account these seizures.  The demand doesn’t change and the suppliers who don’t get caught just supply that demand.  In other words, it is a $120 billion market despite these seizures… or, to be more accurate, it is a $120 billion market because of these seizures, since that cost of doing business is a large part of why cannabis costs as much as it does and therefore makes it a $120 billion market.

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A police officer saw a young black couple drive by and pulled them over. What he did next left them stunned:

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Meanwhile, the second bust illustrates the danger of leaving such a market in the hands of unregulated and unaccountable suppliers…

Meanwhile, bond is set at more than $10 million for a child sex offender who Kane County authorities say was caught with $4 million worth of marijuana this past weekend.  Xaiana Thammayong, 45, of Elgin, and Xom M. Vongsaly, 58, of Fresno, Ca., were pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy who noticed their van was going just 35 miles an hour on I-90.

Yeah, that will draw attention.  But so much for the notion that we’re dangerous drivers.  Maybe not the guy you want to be caught behind in rush hour…

The deputy says Thammayong was driving and quickly switched seats with Vongsaly after they were pulled over. An ID check showed a warrant for Thammayong for failing to register as a child sex offender in Elgin. His driver’s license had also been revoked.

A subsequent search of the van turned up 230 pounds of what authorities say is high-grade marijuana.  Thammayong and Vongsaly are charged with trafficking, delivery and possession of cannabis. His bond is $10,125,000. Her bond is $10 million even.

I’m not an expert on sex offender registries and hiring practices in the brewing industry, but I’m betting that a registered child sex offender doesn’t rise up to controlling $4 million worth of product in the beer distributing world.  As long as we keep marijuana on the illegal side of the business world, some people involved in it will be criminals in other areas using lucrative marijuana sales to make a living.