Apr 152012
 April 15, 2012

gunsBuy Your Marijuana Local And Help Put Cartels Out Of Business

A couple of days ago we posted a piece about the importance of purchasing your marijuana from a local source to decrease the chances of your purchase supporting cartels. 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.

brickDo 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!

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • Jai_isham

    Good article, tho’ I would like to mention that I am in fact seeing a lot of local growers using vaccuum sealers lately. Frequently they don’t actually vaccuum all the air out of the bag tho’ (avoiding that undesirable compression).

  • ang

    great article… my only question is what about those of who have no other choice than to buy from a cartel? i live in (houston) texas where it’s illegal period… now what???

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Jones/1313520787 Mark Jones

       dude there’s gotta be some bomb ass weedles there. no doubt. if it’s good weed, it’s not cartel weed. stop buying brick!

      • ang

        um, what?

      • ang

        um, what?

        • Guest

          Don’t buy shitty weed, be discerning.

    • Bearlyhome

      Work your tail off to get it on the voting ballot so PEOPLE can decide, not the government. Donate to ASA, NORML & MPP, to back their lawsuits filled against the gov.  VOTE and register your friends to vote. ANY victory in legalizing cannabis, no matter what state, is a victory for all cannabis users and patients. The more people involved, the sooner we get it legalized. THAT will put the cartels out of business.

    • snoop Dizzle

      gotta garden yourself… look up a hydro store in your area and go tell them you wanna start an indoor garden. Thats usually the best place to start.

  • Apparition

    This should be taken one step further.Â
    Refuse to patronize any banks which launder cartel proceeds.
    Without assistance from these international parasites, the cartels would be drowning in paper currency.

    • Wall-Street

      That would leave you without any banks at all. They’ve pretty much all laundered money.

  • piff Taylor (medicalmiami)

    First off, thank you for including my comment, awesome to see you guys pay attention. So what we would call regs, that’s a perfect illustration. Compressed, dry seedy bud. I prefer the indoor. I have a 22 plant room with MK ULTRA clones and Mazaar I Shareef seed grown, all organic. it’s really dangerous down in Miami, I’ve seen so many acts of violence because marijuana remains illegal. Sad. Thank you guys!
    -Piff Taylor

    • http://www.facebook.com/TheWeedBlog Johnny Green

      Indeed, thanks for supporting us and asking important questions! We are just a two man operation so we try as hard as we can :)

    • snoopDizzle

      I hear you on that! Its too bad theres so much violence. Seems like most of it is due to greed or people not getting what they expected out of their purchase a.k.a crappy merchandise. Organic and home grown is the way to go. What store do you buy from? I’ve been using Oasis gardens in MIA and they rock. you say you’re all organic, what nute line are you using?

  • Daveholio

    There’s a much simpler solution to this than is mentioned in the article…  Legalize!  After legalization, you will know that your herbs are 100% USA-grown.  Minus the huge price inflation of prohibition, there won’t be any profit in it for the cartels any more so they won’t import.

  • Aerefasdf

    should be *whose* not *who’s*

  • Bulldog_Hero

    Epic post, when I try and explain this same info to others I am often ignored or blown off as “that stoner guy” hopefully people will catch on and do the right thing. Go local or GO home!

  • http://profiles.google.com/letherial David Hodge

    Lets all pray for the day that the local seller is a small farm, you can walk in, tour the plants and see your not buying for a blood thirsty cartel.

    Untill then, its impossible to know, and even if you do know…maybe you dont have another seller? this is a fault of the USA war on drugs, not any one person.Â

  • barabbas

    excellent article!

  • Qerq

    very well written article

  • snoopDizzle

    This is a crazy article, Ive never seen or heard of any of this… then again I have never purchased foreign. These days you gotta do everything yourself ya know. About 2 years back I got a hydro system with nutes and all and Ive never looked back. Most people start in soil cuz its easy but it seems like theres more issues with mites and crap that is just a pain to deal with. If you talk to the store clerk and they can see you wanna get intothe gardening bizz then they’ll give you chrts showing you when to feed and how often and a couple things to save the garden if you screw up. I got revive (advanced nutrients ) and it saved my ass when I messed up my schedule. oops! I’m in the south miami area and its shady as shiznit here but there are a few good stores. From the ones I’ve tried, Oasis Gardens is the best. The chick at the counter gave me a feed schedule but she said to change a few things and BAM she was right. Check her out if you have a chance. growing your own is so much cheaper than buying and you dont have to worry about freakin paper clips in your stash haha. what a bummer.

    • helplessinmidwest

      So is there anyon on this blog anymore? What do us in the a- of the midwest do? You can’t ever get anything. Or get ripped off. I’m always told”were” dry. And don’t have the resources to grow, what do we do? You’ll be lucky if you can get a poor quality nug for less then 20 a gram. Not only do I have croni back pain from a car accindent, but high stress that I’ve developed cronic stomach ulcers also, I wait for the day its legal. Pot is better then pill poping addiction. Our nation in founded on it.

  • Altmichael17

    Pretty much knew that allready nice to get another angle on that

  • http://www.facebook.com/xXblizzardXx Blizzard Holland

     or…..we could just all grow our own if it wasnt illegal……that would cut off all cartel weed instantly >.>

  • Wh0Ar3YoU

    I sometimes feel guilty and/or greedy for smoking marijuana even though I use it to self medicate for my mild social anxiety. I buy it from a friend and god knows where it comes from. He has told me before he gets it from local connects but sometimes he gets it from a different city. I live in the center of Tx so hopefully the stuff I smoke isn’t from the other side of the border. I hope I haven’t supported any of those animals. I don’t even know if I should continue smoking the stuff or just quit because who knows what those cartels spray or put in their marijuana.

  • ericweed

    Just get your marijuana at the medicinal cannabis dispensaries to play safe….

    • Teleri

      And do WHAT if we don’t live in a dispensary state? Here in Ohio, KBs are prohibitively expensive, and not around often, especially from local growers. So we should do without rather than smoke the merch that IS available?

      • Lindsay

        idk i live in PA and KBs are redily available and reasonably priced….i guess i am just lucky or know the right person ?

  • bodean

    Are you insinuating that the east coast doesn’t grow? You are full of it. I’m from northern California and i happen to live in the northeast. Your assumptions are borderline offensive considering our micro grows and corresponding latitude. I produce my own worm castings from organic composts. Keep your westcoast hegemony on your side of the Mississippi. Asshole.

    • Jay

      you live on the east side of a state on the west coast. he meant EAST COAST, the other side of the country. are you stupid and can’t geographically locate yourself?

      • Phillip Cantu

        I’m pretty sure that when he said “I live in the northeast”, he meant the northeastern US. It’s entirely possible for someone to be *from* location A, but currently live in location B.

  • bodean

    Did you just delete my comment?

  • CRASH777

    I AGREE.HOWEVER,LET’S FACE IT.WHEN IT’S DRY(AS IT OFTEN TIMES IS IN THE CENTER OF THE COUNTRY AND ALOT OF THE SOUTHEAST), A TRUE STONER WILL TAKE WHATEVER TYPE OF WEED THEY CAN GET THEIR HANDS ON,BRICK WEED OR NOT.I GUESS THAT WHEN THE POWERS THAT BE DECIDE TO GET THEIR HEADS OUT OF THEIR CRACKS AND BRING IT ON HOME(LEGALIZATION),THAT WE WON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT WHO’S PROFITING FROM IT.

  • Nana

    You sell bud ?

  • thaEugeneGreen

    so glad that i live in eugene oregon. never have to deal with any of this stuff. i wouldnt even smoke weed if there was only super shwag around. that doesnt sound enjoyable

  • love brownies

    This dude is yur typical knee jerk local weed dude. Kb is a fuckin ripoff.i have said and thot much of what he wrote. But at this stage i feel he sounds a bit elitist.and i disagree with him. Hes towing the party line for overpriced weed.The growers do deserve the money! But its the middlemen for kb who r greedy and fuck up the prices. There is barely any brick around? In the old days u got whatever u got. There was no distinction in price between brick ;and what u wuld now call kind.it all was the same price usually…im also sure that growers,even if local can be violent,use guns,and set booby traps around their patches. And there r plenty of kb cartels in cali and canada. I know that for a fact.things usually so black and white az this pompous knobhead is implying. If u can actually get brick. Consider yurself lucky. Cuz its almost a thing of the past. Its much better deal. I usually dont smoke it. Just make baked goodz. And it is perfect. But itll work if u smoke it too. God bless brickweed. I wish i had an elbow of it right now.

    • Nightmoves Cee

      i disagree,Im totally against cartel weed.,and its plentyful.

  • vicki

    well if thats all u can get, what can ya do . i get mine to make oil ( sm amts.) i have no idea were the pot came from. i live i an illegal state. Hope to be legal soon. but irs not yet and we have to buy off the street….

  • Smokin buds

    When u buy kush u definatly are not buying from cartels ipso facto dont buy shitty mid or reggie(same thing) buy american buy kush but fuck all tht tax shit.

  • Wishin4datchronic

    I just purchased an ounce of brick weed for $90 here in West Florida near Mobile, AL. I do not know a lot of people that smoke so I have no clue where to get the stuff I see in pictures. have been smoking for 20 years and have come across the stuff I see in pictures from California or Colorado maybe 3 times. I always get compressed/brick weed always. I would love to purchase the weed that is not from cartels but since nobody cares to supply it I will keep buying from the cartels.

    • tiemedowne

      Hey wishing come down the new mexico way and I can get you that “hightimes” stuff. Plentiful!

  • Michelle

    Bull Shit!!

  • Primo San Fran

    Haha puro gabachos pendejos!

  • Primo San Fran

    Viva Sinaloa! No sabe nada culeros!! Puro indoor girlscoutcookies coco rocks!

  • GreenLady

    I am strongly reminded of my misspent youth. Oh the brick weed I smoked back in the day. Glad my naiveté has been dispelled and I now know what good bud actually is, and where to get it. Back then I was a dumb kid that knew next to nothing about Cannabis and absolutely zilch about cartels. I feel bad that my desire to get stoned funneled money to violent gangsters, but the past is the past. I know better now, and would never buy shady brick weed no matter how desperate I was for a toke.