U.S.: Marijuana Dominates Drug Seizures Along Mexico Border
By Steve Elliott
Unsurprisingly, marijuana is the most-seized substance along the border between the United States and Mexico -- more than methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine combined, according to a new study.
The Center for Investigative Reporting found that more than 17 million pounds of pot were seized at the border from 2005 to 2011.
"In case you were wondering, that works out to more than 16.3 billion joints seized between 2005 and 2011," said Marie McIntosh, news engagement specialist at the CIR. "That's about seven joints per American per year for that period. And while that's a lot of pot, that's just what was seized, not what actually made it over the border."
Southern California's Campo Station -- the facility with the highest number of busts in California, outside the San Diego ports of entry -- had 1,506 seizures between 2005 and 2011 totaling more than 111,000 pounds of cannabis. But the median seizure size is small, 0.4 ounces. "That suggests the checkpoint may be more effective at stopping consumers of marijuana, rather than big-time smugglers," McIntosh offers.
At the Ajo Station in Arizona, more than a million pounds of pot were seized from 2005 to 2011. There were 3,510 busts with a median seizure of 277 pounds. "This higher median could mean agents are stopping smugglers, rather than people carrying a few grams for recreational use," McIntosh said.
Mexico's Drug War, declared in 2006, has caused an estimated 60,000 deaths.
(Photo: Louie Palu/ZUMA)