The author of the article, Chance Campbell stated, ‘Every product, every purchase-vote, carries consequences. The computer I write this from was fabricated in a factory famous for its roof-jump suicides. Making computers sucks so much that Foxconn had to install safety nets so that workers couldn’t even kill themselves. But the difference between computers and weed is similar to the difference between 14 dead and 50,000. And while you’d be hard pressed to find an affordable computer that wasn’t fabricated at Foxconn, marijuana that isn’t sourced through a drug war is relatively easy to get your hands on. It just takes intention.’
Our guest post by Chance Campbell stimulated a question in the comments section from a reader asking how can you tell if your marijuana comes from a cartel. The reader wrote, ‘Most people just cop from their connect, and nobody really knows where it came from. When I lived in Florida I just got the quap and smoked it. Everyone said they had that Cali kind but who really knows?’ That’s a really good question that I think is worth discussing. It’s not as important out West where we grow most of our own or purchase it directly from a grower, but as you go East it becomes much harder to find locally grown marijuana, especially in the ruthless states.
I think it’s important to discuss ‘what is a cartel’ for starters. I think there is a difference between cartels and ‘organized crime’ which I feel is a less accurate term. When I get two people to grow marijuana illegally and sell it to me so I can sell it to other people that I’ve been friends with my whole life, is that a cartel? It involves crime, which is clearly coordinated, but I don’t think the ‘cartel’ label fits. I don’t even think ‘organized crime’ fits, but I’d at least entertain the statement. However, no one is getting their heads cut off when someone buys a pound from a grower and sells an ounce to 16 friends on payday, no matter how coordinated, which is the case with cartels.
When I think of a cartel, I think of enormous organizations who’s sole purpose is to profit, almost always at the expense of innocent people. Cartels are bloodthirsty, they provide no benefit to anyone except themselves, and they are a cancer to the world. Supporting them in anyway should be avoided at all costs. Marijuana purchases especially. For a veteran on the West Coast, it’s probably pretty easy to spot cartel marijuana. However, if you live in the Midwest or back East, it’s a lot harder because you don’t see locally grown marijuana as much. Below are some things that my friends and I came up with to look for. These are obviously not all the tips on the planet, so if you have anything to add, please do so in the comments section below.
Where did the marijuana originate?
As I hinted to earlier, where you are at geographically will dramatically increase the chances that you will see cartel marijuana. If you live along the Mexico border, you are much more likely to see cartel marijuana than if you are in Cave Junction, Oregon (lots of local marijuana is grown there). It’s not easy to know exactly where your marijuana originated from unless you bought it from the grower. But if you know your marijuana originated in a border town, then chances are it is cartel marijuana. A border town is not exactly a good place to set up a garden by the way…
How fresh is the marijuana?
Freshness, or lack thereof, is a great indicator that marijuana came from a cartel. The marijuana is grown far away, it is smuggled in various packages that don’t always keep the marijuana fresh, and the marijuana no doubt sits at the border decaying for a period of time. Ever get marijuana that smells like hay? That’s not because it was packed in hay, it’s because old decaying marijuana that wasn’t given air for a couple months smells like hay. This is not to say that there isn’t old local marijuana around. I know a guy in Eugene that sells three year old outdoor. My advice – if marijuana is old, don’t buy it. It either came from a cartel, or a greedy grower, and either way you don’t want it…Unless you know it’s from the local grower, and he/she gives you one heck of a deal.
Do you buy marijuana in kilos?
If you are buying your marijuana in ‘kilos’ than you are almost 100% guaranteed to be buying marijuana from a cartel source. I have never heard of local grower measuring their marijuana in kilos. I’ve never heard of someone on the straight and narrow that deals in kilos. If you hear the world kilo, walk away. I would be much more comfortable having someone trying to sell me a ‘lid’ than I would a kilo, even though I don’t know anyone that sells ‘lids’ either these days :)
Is there seeds in your marijuana?
If there is an overwhelming amount of seeds in your marijuana, it’s probably from a cartel. There are two types of seed experiences for marijuana consumers. The first one is desirable. You just got a bag of the chronic, and low and behold one of the nugs has a seed. That’s a score in my book. However, the second experience is when all of your marijuana is full of seeds. This marijuana was likely grown in an enormous field south of the border, where they don’t care about quality, or if the marijuana plants that are female need to be separated from the males. Picking seeds out of marijuana is lame, and the marijuana is almost guaranteed to be bad. I know local growers that have had their plants ‘herm out’ and they get seeds. But these people don’t go out and sell it, or if they do, no one should buy it. Lots of seeds equals high likelihood of a cartel source, or at the very least, a jerk of a local grower.
Is the marijuana compressed?
If your marijuana comes in a brick, or was cut off of a brick, it comes from a cartel. Local growers don’t compress their marijuana, ever. If you are doing this locally, please explain to me why you feel the need to ultra-smash your marijuana so you can sell it to people in your area? I’m going to go out on a limb and assume no one locally would do that. The purpose of compressing marijuana is so that you can fit more of it into a small area. My friend and I used to buy a lot of bammer when we were in middle school and high school in the 90’s, and it was always such a pain in the ass to ‘re-fluff’ the bammer using a technique my dad showed me. Compressing marijuana lowers the value of it to most people, so local growers don’t do it. If you marijuana is compressed, and especially if it’s brown, it came from a cartel.
Is your marijuana heat sealed with cryptic markings on the corners?
This one is a bit trickier. It’s hard for me to explain how some markings are the sign of a cartel, while others are just notes from growers. I will tell you my experience to see if it helps. Most local growers on the West Coast these days use turkey bags to package their marijuana. I think this is dumb, but I’ll save that for another article. Rarely do I see local growers use vaccum sealers to seal their marijuana. The few that do sometimes will put a mark on the bag to let them know which strain it is. The writing is clear and direct. You pick up the bag, and you know that trainwreck is inside.
Contrast that to when Ninjasmoker and I used to buy marijuana from Asian gangs in Washington State. I know for a fact that they were part of an Asian gang cartel because they told us so (I was dumb when I was younger what can I say). All of the pounds they sold us was were broken up into half pound gallon bags which were then placed into a heat sealed bag. The heat sealed bags always had weird numbers in the corners like ‘A+++1’ or simply ‘5’. We would get multiple pounds, and even though the strains were the same, the markings would be different, or if the strains were different, the markings would be the same. There was no rhyme or reason. After Operation Frozen Timber, I haven’t seen as much of this type of cartel marijuana, but I imagine there’s still some out there, or it has moved East now that the West Coast has more marijuana than they would ever need. This story also highlights the fact that not all cartels are from Mexico. FYI.
Is there random stuff in your bulk marijuana purchase?
Most people don’t have to worry about this, because most people don’t purchase several pounds at a time. However, marijuana dealers need to be just as responsible with their marijuana purchases as regular consumers, because if you are not paying attention, you are part of the problem. Like I said above, when I was young I did stupid things. I feel very bad about it now because I know that I was supporting some evil people. But you can now learn from my mistakes. When I used to buy lots of pounds from the people in Washington State in the 90’s, every pound would have 1.7 grams of foreign stuff in it. I saw paper clips, plastic stringy stuff, a canadian coin, rubber bands, etc. I would always pull it out, and it always weighed 1.7 grams. To a person purchasing the pound, it’s not a big deal. It’s lame, but it’s not a deal breaker. However, if you look at the other side of the equation, to a cartel that is packaging up 4,000 pounds, shaving 1.7 grams off of each pound can really add up. The cartel is creating several more pounds of profit.
That’s pretty greedy if you ask me, but then again, that’s what cartels do. They don’t care about the marijuana consumer, or how many lives they ruin or end just to protect their operation. All they care about is dollars. It’s time that we strike back by not giving them our dollars. I’m so tired of being in the marijuana movement and have opponents try to lump me into the same category as a mass murderer. The sooner we can eliminate sales of cartel marijuana, the sooner we can stick it to the cartels, while at the same time eliminating a talking point that opponents have been using for decades. So TWB readers, do your part, don’t smoke cartel marijuana, because after all, IT SUCKS ANYWAYS!