Today, during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to begin construction of a physical wall along the southern border of the United States.
“Beginning today, the United States of America gets back control of its borders,” proclaimed the president in his address to gathered press and attendees at DHS.
Throughout the presidential campaign, where Trump frequently promised the wall would be built, many detractors questioned the financial viability and diplomatic ramifications of strengthening the border in such a way. For anyone wondering whether or not the wall would become a reality, President Trump left little doubt during today’ statement.
“The Secretary of Homeland Security, working with myself and my staff, will begin immediate construction of a border wall,” Trump said.
While the stated intent of the border wall is to contain immigration issues, its construction is likely to impact many areas.
Adios Cannabis Cannon
As the reality of a massive border structure separating the United States from Mexico inches closer, we may be witnessing the extinction of the vehicle-mounted weed cannon, a not-so-modern marvel in marijuana distribution.
As security tightened after 9/11 and traditional methods of smuggling marijuana through the border check points became increasingly difficult, some traffickers “got creative.”
In 2012, an abandoned Jeep was found atop the border fence in California after smugglers tried to use makeshift steel ramps to drive over the barrier.
As ramps proved ineffective — not every idea is a good one — cannabis runners started to think in more aerial terms.
For years, stories would pop up here and there about automobile-fitted catapults and cannons shooting hundreds of pounds of cannabis over the border into the United States.
ABC News – Border Patrol agents say they believe a pneumatic cannon was used to launch dozens of containers of marijuana over the border and 500 feet into Arizona on Friday. Eighty-five pounds of marijuana — tucked into soup cans and then inserted into larger sealed containers — were found in a field near the Colorado River in San Luis, Arizona.
Mounted contraptions like the ones you see to the right are rare, but effective. They shoot packaged marijuana up and over the border, far enough away from the barricade that an accomplice can often retrieve the black market shipment without raising suspicion from Border Patrol. But that was with a measly fence protecting the United States from projectile pot packages, not the ‘Great (Again) Wall’ that’s been proposed.
Smugglers on the Mexican side of the border have proved they can adapt to tougher security; only time will tell what kind of technology they utilize next.
As the wall gets higher, so must the cannabis.
In 2015, a drone was observed drop shipping a package containing marijuana and other contraband over a highly secure prison wall in Ohio, where inmates fought over the fresh deliveries and were subsequently all caught red-handed.