• This week Weediquette explores the passage of weed across state lines. (SBS VICELAND)Source: SBS VICELAND
Weed might be legal in pockets of the United States, but driving the stuff around is a different story.
Evan Valletta

22 Sep 2017 - 12:06 PM  UPDATED 22 Sep 2017 - 2:51 PM

Season 3 of Weediquette - SBS VICELAND’s groundbreaking series on all-things marijuana – is set to satisfy your curiosities with a fresh batch of episodes, and they promise to go deeper than ever before.

The week's episode, airing on SBS VICELAND on 1 October, sees Krishna road-trippin’ across the US of A in order to figure out how distribution works in the face of differing state-by-state attitudes towards the coveted herb.

Here’s a taste of what to expect from “Pot Pipeline”.

It ain’t all endless fields of green bud


We all know that marijuana legalisation is increasingly common in the United States. From Colorado to California, Maine to Massachusetts, Nevada to Oregon, and both Washingtons – an American citizen can pull out a spliff and relax into the fact that they’re doing nothing wrong.

These self-contained ganja hotspots are heralded as the future, and the remainder of the domestic weed-smoking population feel its merely a matter of time before other states jump on board.

Problem is, multiple states across the continent have no imminent plans to legalise the green, and are still waging wars on any prominent pothead who passes through their jurisdictions.


Meet Ghost


Krishna’s main point-of-contact during the episode is a voice-altered, face-masked man that goes by the name of “Ghost”. While Ghost and his pot partner/boss named “Uncle” run a legal growhouse in California, their business model still relies on the domestic exportation of the product.

While Uncle handles the grass cultivation, Ghost is tasked with taking their legal product and driving it far west to New York, where it’s illegal but in high demand. That task is fraught with danger, as no matter which route he takes to get there, he’s forced to pass through states with heavy anti-weed penalties.

If Ghost were stopped, searched and sprung in either Louisiana, Mississippi, Virgiia, Illinois or Oklahoma (one or more of which he must pass through to reach New York) he could end up with either a 30-year, 60-year, or life prison sentence.


Why, and how does Ghost do it?

In comparison to his childhood occupation, where Ghost was accustomed to slinging crack and heroin on the streets, he sees his current job as a victimless, or even non-crime, and is waiting for those red-hot states to catch up to the new normal.

Throughout the episode, Ghost takes Krishna through the process of preparing for a cross-country drug run – whether that be through what to eat beforehand or how to properly pack product into the vehicle.

Krishna’s then given the opportunity to follow Ghost on one of these runs. You’ll be surprised what kinds of obstacles they encounter.


The right(?) side of the law


Krishna also manages to head to one of the anti-weed states, shadowing an arm of the Louisiana police force who are specifically tasked to combat weed smuggling.

From the cops’ perspective, they’re merely doing their jobs, and are constantly on the look out for drivers acting in a way that raises reasonable suspicion.

At one point, Krishna and his guide stop a man in an RV, who refuses to have his vehicle searched. Time to bring out the dogs to find out exactly why.


A veteran smuggler

David Victorson was a famous weed smuggler who in the 70s, moved boatloads of weed into the US. In fact, he estimates that he had a hand in bringing over 250 tonnes of the green into the US over a period of 8 years.

Victorson gives Krishna more of an umbrella perspective on the whole situation, and stipulates that smuggling, even if the freight starts out in a place of legality, is still smuggling, and that “the coast is never clear”.


The “Pot Pipeline” episode of Weediquette airs on Sunday, 1 October at 9.25pm on SBS VICELAND. You can watch this and previous episodes of the show via SBS On Demand:


More on Weediquette:
Meet the church that considers weed a holy sacrament
Is toking on marijuana a sure-fire way to bring the smoker closer to God’s kingdom? Can religion and weed co-exist, or even work together? VICE’s Krishna is on the case.
Cure or quackery? Weediquette seeks the dope truth
In the first episode of Weediquette, Krishna Andavolu tries to find the truth about the effectiveness of weed as a treatment for children with cancer, but instead finds frustrated parents.