The U.S. Coast guard reported a record-breaking offloading of cocaine and marijuana yesterday at Port Everglades in Florida. The $1.4 billion in illegal narcotics were seized over the past three months in the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean Seas throughout several interdictions performed by the crew of the Coast Cutter James.
The massive offloading contained approximately 1,430 pounds of marijuana and 59,700 pounds of cocaine – according to Captain Todd Vance, a Commanding Officer on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter James. That’s more than double the amount of narcotics interdicted nearly a year ago in the Fall of 2020. “Every bail of cocaine on this flight deck that doesn’t make it to our shores represents lives saved in New York City, Philly, Chicago, Los Angeles, or any small town that’s dealing with pandemic levels of drug overdoses this year,” Capt. Vance told CBS Miami.
So what happens next? The U.S. Coast Guard crew handed the narcotics over to inter-agency teams that will work closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to pursue and hold accountable those responsible for this tremendous shipment. Currently, this is considered to be the largest offloading in Coast Guard history.
While we may be getting used to legal cannabis starting to pop up across the U.S., these shipments of both cocaine and cannabis were 100% illegal and, according to Capt. Vance’s statement, a potential threat to the safety of Americans in cities and towns across the nation. But international waters aren’t the only method through which people are trying to get illegal substances to the United States. In late July, federal agents in Detroit, MI seized 2,583 pounds of illegal cannabis coming across the border from Canada. Port Director Devin Chamberlain stated at the time that “The men and women of CBP continue to work to keep dangerous and unregulated substances from hitting the streets of the U.S.” As we fight for decriminalization, legalization, and the ability to stroll through the park puffing on a vape pen without worry, concern pertaining to these illegal operations and imports permeates the landscape of cannabis activists’ legal and social efforts.