McMullen: More pot pirates may be passing through Missouri

January 27, 2013

One of the most popular stories on the Sedalia Democrat website is the story about the report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol about a major inadvertent drug bust.

The interstate was 70, the mile marker was around 67, the state was Missouri and the drug was marijuana. The vehicle was a totally not conspicuous white 2012 Chevy Cruze.

“The trooper subsequently searched the vehicle, locating 22.5 pounds of marijuana concealed inside the trunk of the vehicle,” explained the MSHP press release. To most media outlets, this is practically the definition of “more than 20 pounds.”

Usually when you hear about intercepted drug shipments, the haul has been rounded up or rounded down to a nice number that’s divisible by 10. And even more than that, 20 pounds specifically seems to pop up pretty consistently in car-based trafficking. Maybe that’s the standard trunk amount — enough to justify the trip financially, but not enough to stink up the whole vehicle or take up a lot of space.

But no matter how you present it, that’s still kind of a lot of weed, at least for a random traffic stop in the middle of Missouri.

Two fine gentlemen from the Old Dominion State apparently took the junk out of their trunk (or lifted a Chevy Cruze from an unsuspecting homemaker) and filled it with at least $70,000 worth of the devil’s lettuce and decided to take it across at least a couple state lines. What they intended to do with it, of course, is still for the courts to decide. Maybe they thought there was an Italian restaurant in Kansas that really, really needed some oregano right now.

Reports indicate that multiple children and small domesticated animals are still in the hospital after being within a 20-mile radius of the incident. Generations of people have been hopelessly hooked by the demon weed through sheer proximity. They probably just overshot Sedalia a bit and were finding a good place to turn around.

All right, so they probably weren’t going to Sedville. But they were going somewhere. A lot of east-to-west traffic flows through Missouri on I-70, so realistically they could have been headed for any number of western states.

But there’s at least one state where marijuana is in high demand, and it’s a state that’s just one state west of the fine state we have here: Colorado.

Colorado was one of two states in the union that made the possession and subsequent smoking of marijuana fully legal under state law last election. (The other, of course, was Washington, meaning that former LSU football player Tyrann “The Honey Badger” Mathieu probably dreams about being drafted by the Seahawks or the Broncos.) And it would seem to me that various high-level American drug dealers are probably diverting their supply lines in that direction to take advantage of the highly lucrative and probably demanding markets in the west.

A green rush, as it were, of both sellers and buyers. I can’t count the number of people I’ve heard in person that have been making jokes about two certain states and their strange new found desirability as vacation destinations.

And we know that the road to the Centennial State travels through the Show-Me State and we could see an increase in mobile drug busts right here in our backyard in the near future. I think there’s going to be an increasing amount of marijuana traveling through Missouri and Kansas. Roll out the tanks, load the combat shotguns and secure the state boarders — the people of Colorado won’t enjoy their newly legal drugs by way of Missouri.

It was once a state of mules, it might soon be a state of drug mules.

The actions of the people of Colorado and Washington kind of put states like Missouri in an awkward situation. It would be easy to say that we should hit drug shippers hard and often and sell their vehicles and valuables in police forfeiture auctions. Everyone knows that marijuana is the most dangerous drug ever and that we should make every effort to take it off the streets (literally). On the other hand, the people of the weed-legal states might argue that inbound pot should be subjected to something a localized sovereignty. To them, we are impeding the travel of a perfectly legal substance.

“Where are you going with all that dope, boy?”

“Colorado sir, I swear!”

“Well, take it straight there and don’t leave any of it anywhere else.”

Maybe the governor of Colorado should kill two birds with one stone and issue letters of marque allowing Colorado weed pirates to seize illegal marijuana shipments in other states in the name of Colorado. It would help remove the problem from states that don’t want it and more of it could go where it has a friendlier legal status.

Or, uh, maybe not.