On Tuesday, August 18, authorities in Tijuana reportedly burned over 70 tons of drugs. The incineration was covered by most Mexican media. The event was called “Magno Evento de Incineración de Narcóticos.” However, no single source presents the burning as what it is, a bogus event to burn perfectly good marijuana with other drugs sprinkled on top.
Did I say perfectly good? I meant probably shitty marijuana.
There are usually two options when buying pot in the Baja area. You either pay U.S. prices for U.S.-quality weed (most likely also grown on U.S. soil) or you pay ridiculously low prices for more marijuana than you can imagine — weed that, unfortunately, is barely smokeable with very low THC/CBD content. Sometimes there is some middle ground if you are lucky enough to find someone who sells “Mexichronic.”
I once bought two kilos for a thousand pesos of the hay-like marijuana. It came in a shoebox that wasn't even closed, the two kilos inside wrapped up in the thickest layer of plastic wrap I've ever seen. I immediately regretted my decision and gave most of it away.
In California, I am a holder of a medical marijuana card. There is never a concern to get my “medication” delivered anytime I want it. In Tijuana, the guy who sells you marijuana can be the same one who sells cocaine, meth, ecstasy, etc. It can actually be scary (or handy, depending on how you see it) how easy it is to get drugs in downtown Tijuana.
A quick walk in Zona Norte and pretty much everything is on offer (venture down the alleys for harder drugs). Walking out of Zona Norte is the difficult part: even if you are coming back empty-handed, police will stop anyone they choose. You don't have to be in Zona Norte to find drugs: bouncers, bartenders, pizza-delivery guys, random street salesmen, boleros (shoeshiners), and taxi drivers are all potential drug dealers.
Drug burn, August 18, 2015
Mexican dignitaries press the button to burn it down
Mexican law enforcement and the government still consider marijuana a drug that can ruin your life even if you smoke it once. A cop can arrest you for a gram of whichever drug and the penalty will most likely be similar — whatever he can extort from you. I have heard stories of people getting arrested (and extorted) over drug paraphernalia, pipes, and even rolling papers.
Tuesday’s drug-burning event was not limited to Tijuana; in nine other Mexican states, 70 more tons of drugs were reportedly incinerated.
Tijuana news media reported that the smoke could be seen from different parts of the city; I stood out on my balcony and neither saw nor smelled anything. The video of the event shows thousands of bricks of marijuana on top of each other, forming a green-brown heap with other unidentifiable drugs on top.
“Today, we prevented Mexicans from having access to 60 million doses of marijuana, almost 2 million doses of cocaine, and 174 thousand doses of methamphetamine,” said the attorney general of Mexico (in Spanish), Arely Gómez González, in Diariotijuana
Comments on the news story ranged from praise to the government, jokes about having a barbecue or getting really high from the fumes, to pointing out the failure on the war on drugs, and hopes to move to a legal system similar to the U.S. or Canada — at least for drugs that in some cases have been deemed beneficial to the human body.