Scoring weed behind bars can be a shot in the dark, especially if you’re in the pen at Donnacona, Quebec. Last year, officials at the prison seized way more drugs than could be accounted for by the usual guards-on-the-take and “conjugal visit” trafficking. Meanwhile, in the recreation yard, arrows with empty baggies tied to them kept appearing at an alarming rate.
Guards were caught off guard by the technique, but by the fall of last year figured out how the drugs made it past their finely-tuned defenses. They were surprised, they said, because they were used to drugs being lobbed over the wall in tennis balls, which had explained the inmates’ previous fondness for rackets and the courts.
The ultimate effect of prison, however, isn’t to utterly wipe out drug use, but to drive up prices and create a sickening black market. Take inmates addicted to methadone in Pine Grove Correctional Centre in Saskatchewan. In March 2003 ? they repeatedly drank the vomit of fellow inmates enrolled in the institute’s methadone program, successfully ingesting enough of the drug to get high. The puke party ended when one inmate died from a toxic reaction.