People tend to get creative when they want something they can’t get. Case in point: weed. It’s been sent willy-nilly via airmail. It’s been tightly taped to someone's crotch to look like a dong. And, most recently, it’s been camouflaged inside a bag of chips through customs.
On Monday, July 1, the Philippine Bureau of Customs seized more than $20,000 worth of weed found inside a parcel that was supposed to contain bags of tortilla chips but instead contained over 800 grams of kush. The package came from an address in the state of Illinois, which very recently officially legalized marijuana on June 25.
The owner, whose identity remained anonymous, was arrested after claiming the package at a mall in Pasay City, Metro Manila. Imagine the audacity of someone thinking they could smuggle a bag of weed and fool authorities working under Duterte’s extremely vigilant anti-drug agency. (It even banned a rap song.)
Despite many parts of the world slowly easing into legalizing marijuana, Asia included, strict drug enforcement laws remain.
The parcel owner will be charged for violating the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act and the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. By law, the latter warrants a life sentence and has penalties of up to approximately $200,000. But under the current administration, many in the Philippines have been sent to jail, or worse, killed, for merely being suspected of carrying some type of drug.
This, despite research showing that this approach towards drugs doesn’t actually alleviate the situation and can even be counterproductive.