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Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy
The Report of the Canadian Government Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs - 1972

Cannabis 

The Report of the Canadian Government Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs - 1972

3. Legal and Illegal Sources and Distribution of Cannabis

LEGAL SOURCES AND LEGAL DISTRIBUTION

The Narcotic Control Act and the Narcotic Control Regulations prohibit the distribution and possession of cannabis and cannabis derivatives, except for purposes permitted by the Minister of National Health and Welfare, such as drug analysis and other scientific research. The details of these provisions are described in the section of this report dealing with law and law enforcement.

Research into the chemical and botanical features of cannabis, as well as its pharmacological effects has, as was noted in the Commission's Interim Report, been limited in Canada for many years. In recent months, however, a larger number of projects have been approved by the Federal Government, and work is progressing on a number of these at the present time. We shall consider these projects, as well as Federal policy with respect to research, in a subsequent report.

LEGAL SOURCES AND ILLEGAL DISTRIBUTION

While cannabis is not legally traded in Canada, its recent availability for experimental purposes has created the opportunity for some illicit diversion. The Food and Drug Directorate's marijuana cultivation project at the Experimental Farm in Ottawa was plagued with minor thefts at the end of the summer of 1971. The diversion of legitimately held supplies to illegal consumption, however, is not significant.

ILLEGAL SOURCES AND ILLEGAL DISTRIBUTION

Cannabis is prepared and sold as either marijuana or hashish. While cannabis users may express a preference for one or the other of these preparations, they will usually purchase whatever is available. Marijuana was more widely distributed in Canada than hashish until fairly recently. Rising demand and prices, intensified border surveillance and the problems of transporting bulk marijuana have, since that time, led to increased importation of hashish; foreign marijuana is now irregularly available in much of the country. British Columbia, probably because of its proximity to Mexico and the large trans-shipment centres in California, remains generally well supplied with marijuana. But, except for occasional shipments of foreign marijuana and some domestic cultivation, cannabis smokers in some areas depend on hashish imports almost exclusively.

Canadian cannabis seizures, as reported by the R.C.M. Police,' 1.1 6,1 7 reflect this shift from marijuana towards hashish. While Table 3 illustrates a rise in seizures of both cannabis preparations over the past four years, it is clear that hashish seizures have increased more consistently and dramatically than seizures of marijuana. Furthermore. marijuana seizures include domestic Cultivation as well as intercepted imports.

TABLE 3

CANNABIS SEIZURES, IN POUNDS, BETWEEN 1968 AND 1971

AS REPORTED BY THE R.C.M. POLICE

Year* Marijuana Hashish

1968/69 848 83

1969/70 618 1,171

1970/7 1 2,692t 826

1971/72 2,511 3,418

*Fiscal years, which begin on April I and end March 31.

tExcluding seizures of 26,431 cannabis plants.

First seven months only (i.e., until October 3 1, 1971), excluding seizures of 92,978 cannabis plants.

First eleven months only (i.e., until February 29, 197 2), as reported to date.

If these quantities of cannabis are converted to their wholesale Canadian value (assuming a per pound selling price of $750 for hashish and $200 for marijuana), the recent and increasing predominance of hashish is even more apparent. Table 4 illustrates the approximate value of these same cannabis seizures. 

TABLE 4

APPROXIMATE WHOLESALE VALUE OF R.C.M. POLICE-REPORTED CANNABIS SEIZURES

BETWEEN 1968 AND 1971

Year* Marijuanat Hashish

1968/69 $169,600 $62,250

1969/70 123,600 878,250

1970/71 538,400t 649,500

1971/72 502,200 2,863,50011

*Fiscal years, which begin on April I and end %larch 31.

tMaximum wholesale value, as these seizures include domestically cultivated marijuana which is less expensive than imported marijuana.

J:Excluding seizures of cannabis plants.

First seven months only (i.e., until October 3 1, 197 1 ), excluding seizures of cannabis plant First eleven months only (i.e., until February 29, 1972), as reported to date.

  Furthermore, if we assume that in Canada, on the average, hashish contains five per cent THC, while marijuana typically contains less than one per cent THC (see Chapter 2, Cannabis and Its Effects), then hashish is apparently from five to nine times as potent as marijuana, despite the fact that it is only three to four times as expensive throughout most of the country.

The Canadian cannabis market, unlike that of heroin, is loosely organized, unstable and, until very recently, relatively free of professional criminal involvement. Some large-scale importation operations are probably controlled or financed by traditional criminal organizations...... but most distribution ventures involve 'amateurs' supplementing their conventional income or professional smugglers and dealers whose criminal experience is restricted to the trafficking in illicit drugs.

Goode, in discussing the problem of identifying the extent of organized criminal involvement in American marijuana distribution, has noted that:

If we mean by "organized crime" a syndicate involving thousands of tightly knit, lifelong committed gangsters whose entire livelihood derives from illegal activities, then marijuana is not sold, never has been sold, and never will be sold by professional criminals. If, however, we mean an independent operation involving a score of individuals whose activities are coordinated and who will earn their living for a few years from marijuana sales, then it is true that marijuana is often sold by professional criminals. Just how much of the total of marijuana consumed derives from this kind of source is impossible to determine.

In Canada, much the same situation pertains. It is extremely difficult to estimate the number of major importing groups in various cities. We have had estimates of as few as four or five, although it appears that, in fact, in the largest cities and their suburbs there may be as many as 20 groups. Each importing group is unlikely to number more than three or four key people who derive their incomes virtually exclusively from cannabis smuggling and large-scale distribution. Apart from this activity, they are usually not involved in professional crime.

The willingness of cannabis producers in most parts of the world to sell to nearly anyone, the hundreds of potential international sources, the absence of the need for chemical refinement, and the relatively loose structure of the domestic market, make it virtually impossible for any one organization to Monopolize the distribution system. Any cannabis user (should he be willing to assume the legal and financial risks) can, with little effort or knowledge, become a marijuana or hashish smuggler. For these reasons cannabis trafficking can, to a large degree, be seen as a relatively free market system with many opportunities for advancement to higher and more sophisticated levels of distribution.

It is widely believed by cannabis users that cannabis distribution is totally Free of organized criminal involvement. This popular contention is probably the result of two conditions of the cannabis market. First, it seems likely that if 'organized'-or any-professional criminals are involved in the distribution (If cannabis, they are involved only in the upper levels of the enterprise (importing and large-scale wholesaling). Second, consumers, in general, are rarely party to the operation of any market above the level of their own

dealings. Consequently, unless cannabis users have criminal friends from whom they purchase the drug (a highly unlikely situation since most consumers buy their supplies from persons they know socially), they will only come into contact with its non-professional criminal personnel. These persons, then, will know the market as they see it, and they tend to see it as an illicit cooperative devoid of organized criminal elements. Goode has made a similar point in discussing the operation of the American marijuana market:

The typical marijuana smoker has no idea where his marijuana comes from. It has been filtered down through so many levels and has exchanged hands so many times, that the average user is no more likely to come in contact with a top level seller than would a cigarette smoker with a tobacco auctioneer .... The chain is long, and the links are many. Each step downward involves a change in character of the personnel.

Sources

Whether cannabis is originally purchased as marijuana or hashish depends, to a large extent, on its country of origin. Hashish, which is prepared from cannabis and is generally more potent than marijuana, ordinarily comes from the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Asia. The major cannabis growing regions in these parts of the world are the Rif mountains in Morocco, the mountainous Hermel and Baalbek areas in Lebanon, the foothills of the Himalayas (the source of Pakistani, Nepalese and Indian [Kashmir] hashish) and Afghanistan."," Some hashish is also reportedly produced in Mexico."

Most of the marijuana entering the North American cannabis market is grown in Mexico, particularly in the provinces of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Sonora, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Jalisco, Durango, Zacatecas, Michoacan, Guerrero, Tamaulipas and Yucatan. 28,56,59.44,35,22,3 1 The Mexican marijuana-growing fields are relatively small (one-third to one-half acre) and contiguous to forested areas or in hidden valleys. The plants are sometimes cultivated between rows of corn to protect them from aerial detection. Persistent attempts to eradicate Mexican marijuana cultivation, intensified border inspections, and the explosive North American demand for marijuana over the past few years, have led to the importation of this drug from other countries. Mexico remains the most significant source, but smugglers have increasingly turned to Central and South America (particularly Panama and Colombia), the West Indies (particularly Jamaica). and even parts of Central Africa to meet the spiralling North American demand. The Vietnamese war has also opened new cannabis routes as Laotian, Vietnamese, Thai and Cambodian marijuana is apparently regularly mailed or smuggled into the United States by American soldiers. Some of this marijuana eventually reaches Canadian consumers.

In all of these growing regions, cannabis represents an important cash crop. No substitute crop of equal value to the farmers has yet been found. Were cannabis not cultivated, these farmers would, in most cases, barely manage to subsist; consequently, they strongly oppose any attempts to eradicate what is not only a traditional occupation but also, and more importantly, the source of their livelihood. 

The final cannabis source for Canadian users is domestic marijuana cultivation. Cannabis will grow nearly anywhere and wild strains persist across the country."' The more psychoactive plants, however, are deliberately cult' 1vated from the seeds derived from high quality imported marijuana. These plants are grown at home under artificial lighting systems of various degrees of sophistication during the winter months, or carefully planted in window boxes or rural areas during the spring. Id I Late summer harvests provide a temporary surfeit of marijuana throughout the country, although most of these supplies are judged to be inferior to imported cannabis by experienced users. Domestic marijuana cultivation represents an important supplementary source of the drug and one that is becoming increasingly significant as marijuana imports apparently continue to decline on a per user basis.

Importation

Hashish, by virtue of its compactness, is far easier to smuggle across international borders than marijuana. Both preparations, however, are relatively bulky (compared, for example, to heroin or cocaine) and can be easily detected by trained customs dogs. Consequently, the commercial importation of cannabis, except for very small amounts, is a risky operation that requires careful planning and knowledge of both smuggling techniques and safe routes. The primary routes of cannabis delivery to Canada are indicated in Figure 4.

Depending on the quantity and quality purchased and the country of origin, hashish costs between ten and eighty dollars a pound at its production source.'" However, North American importers (especially those who are relatively inexperienced or cautious) often buy their hashish in trans-shipment centres in Israel or Europe (particularly Amsterdam, Paris and London), so as to minimize the number of border crossings and avoid suspicious immigration stamps in their passports. Hashish costs between two hundred and three hundred and fifty dollars a pound in Europe, but even this price still allows the smuggler to at least double his money on return to Canada or the United States. Large-scale hashish smuggling operations may involve the purchase of hundreds or even thousands of pounds of hashish in the Middle East or North Africa which is then transported to North America through various strategies. Some of these large shipments are flown close to the Canadian and American east-coast borders where they are then 'dropped' for later pick-up by boats owned or rented by these organizations. Other shipments are concealed in legally imported large machinery or motor vehicles, and some is smuggled into Canada by foreign diplomats whose personal property is immune from customs inspection.

The development of these large-scale hashish smuggling operations is a relatively recent phenomenon, probably dating from 1967 or 1968. Until that time hashish was usually imported, a few pounds at a time, by individual entrepeneurs or small groups of semi-professional smugglers in their late teens and early twenties. This style of importation still exists and probably accounts for the majority of hashish smuggling operations. The bulk of Canadian hashish importation, however, appears to be increasingly controlled by adult professional criminals, and the 'free market-place' notion that once characterized hashish trafficking is now applicable primarily to the lower levels of domestic distribution. 7,1

individuals or small groups who participate in the smuggling of hashish ordinarily employ two methods of importation. The first involves the personal transportation of hashish through customs after disembarking from a transatlantic flight or cruise. The hashish is usually taped to the person's body and unless a customs inspector is inordinately suspicious the smuggler will not be 'body-searched'. This technique, however, only allows the smuggler to import between five and ten pounds of hashish at a time. For this reason some smugglers take the added risk of concealing additional hashish in their baggage, particularly in especially constructed false-bottom suitcases. professional importation organizations will often hire 'runners' or couriers to transport hashish to North America using these techniques; the runners are either paid a set fee in advance (per delivery) or receive a per pound or kilogram (2.2 pounds) fee upon receipt of the goods by the importer.

One major importer, in a discussion with a Commissioner, described his couriers and their risks in this way:

His [the courier's] chances of making it through, unless there is a tip-off, are just unbelievably good-I'd say 99% plus. I lost one runner, but that was obviously a tip-off; he was hit stepping off the plane-they got him before he even got to customs.

[For couriers] you have to hit a certain type of person-hippies are no good. The best people are high school and college drop-outs-fairly straight kids who work and smoke a bit .... They don't really realize the consequences of what they are doing. A hippie knows what jail is like and he knows that if they hit you it's seven years....

[My runners] are worker types; when somebody is making thirty or fifty bucks a week they are not really very educated, otherwise a few dollars wouldn't appeal to them as much.

... using the body-run system I was paying them $500 for the first four kilos and $250 for each additional kilo.

I am willing to use somebody two or three times in the course of ... two or three months, but after that their nerves start to give out.

... anybody that is going to run drugs for $750 is a fool ... so you can't really get an intelligent runner because an intelligent person wouldn't.

Not all would agree with this rather harsh judgement of the intelligence of runners in general. In fact, some large-scale importers of considerable business acumen began their careers as couriers.

The second and generally safer method of importation involves the use of the mails. The hashish, in this case, is usually hidden in parcels of food or hollowed-out souvenirs, or canned to appear as food. It is then mailed to someone (who may or may not exist) or to an institutional address in Canada and is accepted by the Canadian-based partner or one of his agents. Should there be any reason to suspect that the authorities are aware of the package's Contents, delivery is not accepted and the police are left in the position of having to construct a conspiracy case in order to secure a conviction. The Christmas season is considered the most opportune time for such mailings,

But hashish importation of this nature continues throughout the year. Some distributors regularly import hashish through the mails from European residents, telegraphing the necessary funds in advance and coordinating the entire venture by long-distance telephone calls. Others have established legitimate importing companies which are then used as a 'front' for hashish smuggling, the drug being hidden among the declared goods. This style of operation has, in many instances, continued in an uninterrupted fashion for several years.

In contrast to the hashish market, the importation of marijuana into Canada remains relatively unorganized and unaffected by professional criminal syndicates. Most marijuana entering the North American cannabis market is grown in Mexico, and according to one authority no evidence exists to support a belief that traditional organized crime-the Mafia-is involved to any significant degree in marijuana smuggling."" Marijuana is easily available throughout Mexico and nearly anyone with the right contacts and sufficient funds can buy as much of the drug as he desires. A ton of marijuana can be purchased for between ten and twenty thousand dollars (between five and ten dollars a pound) from a Mexican farmer or broker. Smaller purchases, of course, are more costly on a per pound basis (as high as forty dollars a pound), as are deals in which the Mexican wholesaler assumes the risks of transporting the drug to the American side of the border. But, as Mandel has noted:

... acquiring mucho marihuana does not require the capital outlay of behind-the scenes financiers of the Syndicate. To the contrary, the price is right for the operation of the free market.42

According to McGlothlin, an "average of about 3 tons of marijuana per day is estimated to be smuggled from Mexico into the U.S ' There are primarily three groups involved in this importation. The first, suggests King, is composed of traditional Mexican and Mexican-American organizations

which "...deal in large shipments and are said to account for a major portion of the Mexican marijuana smuggled into the United States" . " The second group of smugglers are young Americans whose expeditions range from small-quantity, one-shot ventures to highly sophisticated, regular and well financed operations which import marijuana in shipments that rival those of the established Mexican-American organizations. Finally there are those young American amateurs, mainly tourists and vacationers, who attempt to cross the border with small amounts of marijuana concealed in their vehicles or on their person. While these amateurs account for most of the border seizures, their successful imports represent a very small fraction of the total amount of marijuana transported into the United States.111

Only the first two of these groups are involved in the wholesale purchase of Mexican marijuana from farmers or their brokers. This harvested marijuana, after being compressed into kilogram blocks about the size and shape of cigar boxes, is moved by burro from the mountainous growing areas. It is then transported northward or to coastal shipping centres by truck or private plane. According to Kamstra:

Before Operation Intercept [September, 1969] the use of cars and trucks was by far the most popular method of smuggling. Land traffic has slowed since Intercept. but there are still plenty of smugglers who run the border with their vehicles, mainly the big time Mexican/American smugglers who operate along the Texas border and who [move] ... tons of weed [marijuana] ... with considerable elan through a variety of check points and officials, each official taking his "bite"as the load moves north .

These overland shipments are ordinarily subdivided into smaller lots for transport across the California, Arizona, New Mexico or Texas borders, the actual importation being performed by hired couriers ('mules') who are paid a set fee for each delivery.

Because of the risks involved in driving across the American border, marijuana smugglers have increasingly utilized private planes and boats to transport their shipments. Kamstra claims that United States Air Force trained Vietnam veterans are often employed in smuggling operations involving airplanes, and that "[t] here are hundreds of small airstrips hacked out of the mountains in Mexico and a pilot with a good eye and lots of nerve can make it in and out of a strip in fifteen minutes, provided his organization has his weed and spare fuel ready."" Smuggling by boat is equally popular as Mexico's lengthy and convoluted coastline provides ample opportunities for hidden loading operations. Three miles from Mexico these boats are safely in international waters, and in five or six days they reach their pre-arranged rendezvous along the Texas or California coast. Once having arrived in the United States, the marijuana is driven or air-freighted to its eventual import destination where it is subdivided for further sale.

It is at this stage that Canadian smugglers ordinarily become involved in the importation of Mexican marijuana. Some Canadian importers, particularly prior to Operation Intercept, engaged in the regular wholesale smuggling of marijuana, hiring couriers to cross both the Mexican-American and American-British Columbia borders. In a very few instances boats were used to move large shipments directly from Mexico to the British Columbia coast. This style of operation has generally disappeared and most Canadian importers now purchase their marijuana in American trans-shipment centres (such as San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Boston and New York) and arrange for its overland transport into Canada at what are thought to be poorly guarded border crossings or along back roads that are free from regular customs and immigration check points. Marijuana reaching Vancouver is occasionally driven or mailed to distributors east of British Columbia.

Small supplies of marijuana also enter Canada through the mails, the same techniques as described for hashish being employed. Most marijuana imports from Jamaica arrive in this fashion, as do small shipments from parts of Central and South America and Africa. Legitimate importing companies have also been used to smuggle marijuana into Canada from these more exotic locales. Because the distances and risks are identical, however, most Canadian importers prefer to smuggle hashish rather than marijuana since it Is less bulky and guarantees a larger return on their investment.'

them. A large percentage of users sell, and nearly all sellers use .... selling marijuana, then, to some degree presupposes involvement with the marijuana subculture which, in turn, implies at least a moderate degree of use .... The difference between [using and selling] is simply a matter of degree, since selling is a surer indicator of one's involvement with the drug subculture than is buying or, ever, more so, using. To think of the dealer as preying on his hapless victim, the marijuana smoker, as profiting on his misery, is to possess a ludicrously incorrect view of the state of affairs. 27

Part of the problem of distinguishing sellers from users revolves around the fact that many cannabis dealers below the pound level of distribution are ,amateurs' who have other primary income sources. Generally speaking, these non-professional cannabis dealers sell marijuana or hashish to cover their personal consumption, generate a small supplementary income, or to satisfy the persistent requests of friends who have difficulty securing their own supplies. These persons almost always deal in small amounts for little or no profit, and their sales are to friends and acquaintances whom they have known for some time.

At the other end of the low-level dealing continuum, however, are those persons (most clearly represented by 'street-dealers"") who always deal for profit, and often to strangers or near-strangers. These low-level dealers (some of whom derive their entire income from cannabis transactions) are unlikely to earn substantial amounts of money. There is, in fact, very little money to be made from cannabis dealing below the pound level of distribution. Even career 'street-dealers' make most of their profits from the sale of other drugs. As Mandel has noted, the "...more successful street-pushers in fact handle about everything but pot because of its large bulk and small profits per deal."' Their continued participation in cannabis distribution, then, must also be explained in terms of what they define as the lack of attractive jobs, the "cloak and dagger" intrigue involved in dealing, and the prestige and status imputed to dealers by members of the cannabis subculture. In return for these monetary and social rewards, a regular cannabis seller must deal with the inevitable 'hassles' of leakage (underweight purchases, giveaways, personal consumption, thefts, [q] and sales on credit that are never repaid), maintaining a reputation, packaging and delivering, and the constant fear of detection and arrest. The monetary return alone does not seem to justify the risks or labour involved in this venture-and yet thousands of persons continue to participate in low-level cannabis dealing.

It appears, then, that the differences among those who traffic in marijuana or hashish can be best described by referring to their motives for doing so. While some supply their less well-connected friends as a favour or as a means of financing their own use, others do in fact engage in cannabis distribution, as a commercial enterprise. The co-existence of these two types of cannabis sellers-at every level-makes it difficult to specify who is an entrepreneur and who is not. For example, while some persons import marijuana with the intention of "setting up a business", some do it for other reasons. While, for some, a kilogram of hashish is purchased to be divided and resold at a profit, others buy that quantity merely for distribution at cost among their friends. The quantity of cannabis possessed by an individual, then, is in many cases a rather inexact predictor of his intentions vi-a-vis the commercial distribution of the drug.

 

 NOTES 

[a] Cannabis preparations such as THC are available solely for experimental purposes. Canadian street samples of this drug have always been found to be some non-cannabis substance or another cannabis preparation.

[b] There are probably some groups of persons in every large Canadian city who, through various means, are assured of regular supplies of marijuana. These shipments rarely reach the street, however, and are usually too small to affect the overall availability situation.

[c] In the American midwest there are still thousands of acres of cannabis which were originally cultivated for the United States government during World War 11 as a source of hemp for rope manufacture.", 24,34

[d][ Much of this 'home-grown' marijuana is neither marketed nor intended to be marketed. Rather, it is generally consumed by its cultivator and those with whom he is friendly. Increasingly, however, some persons have been cultivating cannabis on a commercial scale. For example, the latest Canadian census has found that "...marijuana has become a major cash crop for some farmers, representing all age groups, in several provinces."'

[e] Regular hashish smugglers will occasionally 'lose' their passports, enabling them to obtain a new passport free of any indication of the frequency or direction of their recent travels.

[f] Some large-scale importers apparently use Canadian ports of entry as trans-shipment centres for hashish destined for the American market. Hashish arriving in Montreal and Toronto is regularly transported to the United States along border patrol-free roads between Quebec and Vermont,4 and recently the R.C.M. Police in Red Deer, Alberta intercepted a six hundred pound shipment of Afghanistan hashish which had been flown from Europe to Edmonton and is said to have been intended for Denver, Colorado.5,6

[g] Hashish smugglers will occasionally travel to the West Indies before entering Canada or the United States, as it is believed that flights originating from these countries are less closely inspected than flights from Europe.

[h] Single shipments in excess of one ton are not uncommon; a single recent American marijuana seizure weighed ten thousand pounds. 62,32

[i] American customs officials seized nearly 150,000 pounds of marijuana during the twelve months ending June 30, 1971." If, at best, this represents ten per cent of all marijuana border traffic, then it can be estimated that nearly eight hundred tons of marijuana illegally entered the United States during that year. McGlothlin has estimated that eleven hundred tons of "crude" marijuana are annually consumed in the United States, but this figure includes domestic cultivation.'

[j] Boats have also been used to transport large quantities of Jamaican marijuana to the United States. One recent American case involved the seizure of three tons of marijuana which had been shipped from Jamaica to Florida and then transported by truck to the New York City area. 32

[k] The fact that trans-atlantic "youth fares' are less expensive than regular passage to Mexico or Jamaica has also probably contributed to the increase in Canadian hashish smuggling and the decline of interest in marijuana importation ventures.

[l] Marijuana is, of course, usually less potent than hashish on a per unit weight basis and, therefore, is consumed far more rapidly.

[m] Individual marijuana cigarettes, although often used as the unit of calculation for police estimates of marijuana seizures, are almost never trafficked in the North American cannabis market. This practice, however, was apparently quite common in the 1930s and 1940s.

[n] A description of Canadian street scenes appears in the next section of this report which deals with North American Patterns of Cannabis Use.

[o] In regard to this typology of dealers, Goode has observed that: ... there is an entire continuum between these two types, with mixed characteristics. But in terms of sheer number of transactions-because the product is finally fanning out to the consumer and is, therefore, small in bulk and large in number-the friendship end of the spectrum is far more common than the profit end."

[p] McNeill has observed that:

The dealer commands a certain mystique .... He is playing a far more dangerous game than the consumer and he is respected for it .... Most dealers are proud of fine scales, and enjoy the ritual of sifting and weighing their stock. The exchange, sometimes involving large amounts of cash and drugs, is the climax of the business and may have an 007 sort of intrigue.

[q] Professional criminals, in such cities as Montreal and Ottawa-Hull, have been increasingly involved in the systematic, and often violent, theft of hashish from dealers who operate independent of the organized criminal distribution network. The victims, of course, suffer the additional frustration of being unable to report such thefts to the police.

 


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