Mexicans line up to buy California marijuana to bring back to Mexico


TIJUANA. In front of the door of the store located in Otay Mesa, about five minutes from the border between Mexico and the United States, hangs a big welcome with green letters that says: “A Green Alternative”. There are two armed men wearing white shirts, in which the company’s logo was stamped. It is one of the more than 90 companies that obtained permission to sell marijuana in San Diego, California.

The first day of 2018, two things happened: a law came into force in California that allows the sale of marijuana for recreational use and customers swarmed to receive the year with a couple of grams; there were rows in each of the stores.

Among the new clients there were not only American citizens or residents, in the ranks of 30 or up to 40 people, who waited more than an hour to buy, there were also people from Tijuana who, in some cases like Roberto, crossed the border, found one From the dispensaries, they lined up, bought a couple of grams of marijuana and then illegally crossed it into Mexican territory.

“You are buying quality and a safe product,” Roberto said while opening the bag in which he was given a gram of marijuana for $ 20, double what he previously paid when he acquired it in clandestine stores. She added: “You know they are not going to put acid, or heroin, there is marijuana that I found here in Tijuana that they say to you: ‘It’s bathed in cocaine.'”

Roberto, a consumer, bought marijuana in California because he says it is of better quality and they even gave him a pipe. 

Arrests at the border

Roberto’s case is not the only one. Like him, others on both sides of the border buy marijuana in the American Union and then cross the merchandise into Mexican territory; However, the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena) has detected that not everyone has the same interest to buy it for personal use, for example, has arrested people with up to 400 or 500 grams in the posts of the cities of Tijuana and Mexicali .

Although half a kilo does not compare with the tons of marijuana seized monthly in the city, the commander of the Second Military Zone, Enrique Martínez, says it is enough to know that this amount is not for personal consumption.

“They are small portions, they bring 50 doses. It is not so much for personal consumption, unless they bring provisions for the whole year, “warns the commander.

“Could you say it’s like ant traffic?” He asks. “Yes, that’s right, you could say,” the commander replies.

Describes people detained with marijuana as Caucasians or Mexican-Americans, who from before the law came into force to legalize their commercialization in California, brought the plant from one of the other states where it was allowed to be sold: District of Columbia , Oregon, Washington, Colorado or Alaska.

Years ago it was the American citizens who came to the border city of Tijuana to acquire the herb.


Commander Enrique Martinez thinks that it would not be a bad idea for drug users to buy their merchandise from the other side of the border, in US territory, because that change could mean a reduction in the violence that there is in the border, besides that it would allow to focus its efforts to inhibit the insecurity in the other red centers.

“Hopefully and go there and avoid us having so many people selling on the street because we really have not been able to reduce the violence generated by these individuals who sell,” he laments.

People who buy in the United States do not always stay on that side of the border.

Not everyone thinks like him. The president of the Public Safety Citizen Committee of Tijuana, Genaro de la Torre Quintanar, thinks that the authorities will have to put more vigilance to guarantee that the traffic ant of marijuana with north-south direction does not get worse.

Roberto, after buying a few grams of marijuana, accompanied by his girlfriend, returned to Tijuana; however, his return was unusual. Before stepping on Mexican soil, he found two security filters, the first in the area of ​​the Tax Administration Service (SAT) in the Garita de Otay Mesa, a site that rarely queues to cross from the United States to Mexico, only that the random semaphore indicates it; That day he found dogs sniffing around the cars.

After passing the port of entry to the city, less than a kilometer away, a municipal police checkpoint awaited him.

The question was routine: “Where are you coming from?” In addition, he was ordered to show identification.

“When I bought it and I was doing the queue, I thought: ‘They know in Mexico that it is now legal. Maybe now I will not buy so often, “says Roberto, although despite the risk he believes that the number of people who will buy marijuana from that side will shoot.

“There will be a reverse contraband because there is more quality, more security and a bit of variety,” he says.

In the stores there is a space where the varieties of the drug are shown. Vendors explain the type of merchandise available: gummies, bread, oils and even beverages. 

The experience

From his first experience as a legal buyer of marijuana in the United States, he keeps a small pipe that was given to him.

One of the young women who received him in the store, first took him to a waiting room where he stayed for 15 minutes, then they accompanied him to another room where they exhibited the varieties of the drug, in which besides giving him a tour They explained the type of merchandise available: gummies, bread, oils and even drinks.

“I know graduates and husbands who used marijuana here, they took a risk, they sent someone to buy it and I say that now with that open possibility, all those people are going to prefer buying it there,” says the young man.

Source: El Universal, Laredo Daily News

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