Guardian Investigations – The battle against marijuana use locally is seemingly facing a different fight that would certainly give local law enforcement authorities, a very long ‘run for their money’.
This is because a network of marijuana distributors are now offering two options to Guyanese ganja users by allowing them to order the prohibited drug discreetly from the privacy of their homes; – by giving them virtual access to an underground digital hub that connects with sellers in countries and some US States where the use of Cannabis is legal.
In that way, marijuana distributors in countries like Bolivia cannot be prosecuted for remotely selling the illegal herb even knowingly to a user in Guyana, whether it was shipped or simply delivered locally by a third party.
Listed protocols established by at least two virtual suppliers, (link to one HERE and another one HERE) buyers can order marijuana easily online (under the pretext of marijuana seeds) and then have it delivered to them by a local supplier, or request other international strains that are compressed and shipped mostly as canned meat or other canned products.
The shipped canned products come labeled as either regular canned food or chemical elements intended for domestic or other use.
According to one supplier, the canned marijuana is almost impossible to detect since it is completely sealed, but is mostly ordered in bulk volume when it has to be shipped internationally.
He happily pointed out that compressed “weed” from Jamaica remains the most preferred class of Cannabis for Guyanese users who choose an imported strain.
Boasting a list of countries to which they ship marijuana, and apart from Guyana, he was quick to point out countries to where any shipment is not being risked, such as Saudi Arabia where the death sentence is applicable to the shipper and importer of marijuana, regardless of which country it was shipped from.
Canned and false packaged marijuana which is sometimes even disguised in ladies beauty kit cases, lipstick cases, and other items that are usually overlooked by law enforcement authorities locally has become a regular choice for young club goers.
It practically allows the user to walk around with smaller amounts of compressed marijuana in packaging that can be displayed even in broad daylight, and not arousing even the slightest suspicion.
Ironically, this publication understands that shippers of packaged marijuana are even compressing it in different flavours, ranging from Strawberry to Vanilla etc, particularly catering for female users.
But for those who are not a fan of the packaged product, or prefer other locally available strains of Cannabis, delivery is said to require a minimum volume, while the transaction is subject to the approval of the local supplier.
An independent investigation by this publication has discovered that Guyanese desirous of ordering marijuana in cyberspace can do so easily if they have a bank card with the Visa or Master Card logo, under unsuspecting merchant invoice names or circumstances that are extremely difficult for even larger financial institutions to recognize.
Furthermore, by using a card online, suppliers are generally able to determine in advance who did the transaction, since the online purchase would require that the buyer state the real name, address and phone number of the cardholder, which must match the bank terminal records before the transaction can be processed.
In that way, it is much easier to keep international law enforcement at bay or quickly help the seller to handle the delivery in a particular way or determine if a local order is questionable.
Moreover, one seller can operate under multiple company names or under multiple international financial accounts that will be difficult to pursue internationally, or even track in some cases, if the seller is operating a Hong Kong or Russian registered company for example.
Questioned on this new delivery strategy that is being used by suppliers, one detective from the Guyana Police Force’s Narcotics Branch shockingly told this publication that the method is somewhat unknown to them, and that maybe it may be something that the force would have to look at.
However, he was adamant that the purchasing of marijuana online was illegal.
Several local legal minds with which this publication had consulted agreed with the detective’s position while indicating that while someone in Guyana may be able to order marijuana online, its possession, movement, or sale remains unlawful once they brought it into this country’s border, or even redistribute it via a sale on the internet.
Hence, they pressed home that ordering something online does not mean that the ordered product is something you can legally import into or use in Guyana.
So as far as most of them are concerned, buying marijuana online, and whether it is shipped in or delivered locally, does not change the status quo where the law pertaining to its possession use and distribution is concerned.
They agree nonetheless that many of the new methods that are utilized by marijuana distributors, such as N2 packaging will definitely create tougher challenges for local law enforcement.
Asked how the issue can be better addressed, most, if not all of them, suggested that it will require some going back to the drawing board.
But in an invited comment, (name witheld) a professional who once worked for an anti-narco trafficking unit within the Saudi Government pointed out (in a communication exchange on LinkedIn) that drug trafficking transactions that are being conducted in cyberspace are close to impossible for technologically ill-equip countries like Guyana to fight.
They are of the view that if the digital trading of drugs is escaping the arms of other well-prepared countries such as the United States, it will be a “water in basket battle” for Guyanese authorities to overcome, at least for now.
In his view, it will require the implementation of modern laws, and other simple but effective deterring methods such as; –
1 – A periodic marijuana blood test requirement for government jobs.
2 – Compulsory marijuana and general drug testing certificate during the application for government documents or their renewals, among other things.
3 – Random marijuana testing of motorist or drivers involved in accidents.
He pointed to several tools which only requires a simple prick on the finger, that can reveal the results in less than two minutes.
For him, those strategies will self-force a larger number of persons to refrain from using marijuana or any type of prohibited drug, locally.
As a matter of fact, “it will trigger a very sharp reduction in personal demand for all psychopathic substances, and will see fewer instances of people having to be before the courts” he said.