Even though marijuana use in California is legal for adult consumption, it’s still an illicit substance federally. Anyone living in California knows that there are dispensaries across the state. More marijuana is produced here than in any other state.
In Northern California, an estimated 1.7 million pounds of cannabis is cultivated each year, according to Leafly. The market is saturated; the days of a small-time grower reaping enormous profits selling weed in the Golden State are probably long gone.
So, it’s probably not surprising to learn that many distributors have taken to moving their illegal wares across state lines. While most transporters or traffickers load up the car trunk and hit the road, some are turning to air travel as a means moving product.
It turns out, cannabis trafficking arrests have surged 166% at LAX since legalization, The Los Angeles Times reports. The iconic jet port, one of the busiest in the world, has become an essential hub for individuals trying to increase their profits.
Flying High in California
LAX isn’t alone in marijuana seizures; both Oakland and Sacramento have also seen a dramatic increase. It’s not just smugglers taking to the friendly skies with weed in their bag.
Average citizens know that there is only a light punishment attached to being caught with cannabis in California airports. There were 503 reports of marijuana found in passenger luggage last year; only one-fifth of them involved traffickers.
People in other states will pay hefty prices for a product that is worth much less on the west coast. California grows up to five times more marijuana than can be consumed in the state, according to the article. Naturally, authorities cannot catch everyone; most of the product leaving the state makes it to its final destination.
“This is normal procedure for these guys [traffickers], and I would say 29 out of 30 times they make it through without a problem,” said a 20-year California criminal defense lawyer who specializes in marijuana cases.
Orange County Drug Offenses
Please contact The Law Office of Ronald G. Brower is you are facing criminal drug charges. It is helpful to have an experienced legal advocate in your corner; attorney Brower has been practicing law for more than three decades.