Danger on the I-5

Exporters beware! There’s a whole bunch of pigs who want your bacon.
West-coast herbalists, capitalists, exporters and other inhalers need to be aware of a drug interdiction zone which stretches along the major north-south highway corridor of the Western United States.

Local sheriffs, highway patrol, Drug Enforcement Administration, and US Customs have all set up this zone in order to catch agricultural exports heading south from British Columbia, especially around harvest time in late summer and autumn.

If you are driving the I-5 corridor, you should know that police are looking for vehicles and travelers matching pre-determined drug courier profiles.

Young people driving vans or older vehicles bearing Canadian license plates are especially vulnerable to traffic stops. It helps if your car is in good condition, and to not be speeding or toking up, but interdiction cops have been known to stop people for no reason at all.

US police are likely to ask your permission to search your vehicle and belongings. If you grant them permission, you may have made the biggest mistake of your life.

Minimizing risk is good insurance. Aside from not looking like a stoner, make sure you have a valid driver’s license, proper vehicle registration, insurance documents, and a plausible, conformist-sounding story about why you’re on the road. Remember that the police really do want to bust you, but they are also afraid of lawsuits and wasted time. If you appear to be a “normal” tourist, they are likely to let you go.

If you are carrying product, make sure your packaging is tight and odour-proof. A car full of skunk or other smell is a ticket to jail. Elevate the art of concealment to a high level. Do not be careless with pipes, roaches or other tell-tale bits of evidence. Maintain your composure and above all remember ? you are in a war zone.

Although the entire I-5 corridor is heavily interdicted, some locales are worse than others. Reliable reports indicate that the following areas are especially prone to stealth pig attacks: Bellingham, Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia areas in Washington state; Oswego, Salem, Eugene, and Medford areas in Oregon; and from the Oregon line to south of Sacramento on I-5 in California, with a particularly high concentration of evil folks between Redding and Orland in Northern California’s Central Valley.

At all times obey all speed limits, use turn signals, drive intelligently and fit in. Don’t park on the side of the road to toke up. Don’t let your guard down.

America needs your crop, but you need to be safe. The roads are dangerous, so be cool!