Reefer Madness

March 21, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Roy MacSkimming referred to publishing as “the perilous trade,” but it becomes even more perilous when what you’re trading is tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of illegal drugs.

The Smoking Gun is reporting that two parcels of marijuana originating in San Diego were earmarked for shipment to the New York offices of St. Martin’s Press, one of the biggest publishers in the United States. Apparently, a California postal worker alerted authorities when two packages from “ABT Books” were deemed to have a “distinctive scent.” ABT Books was later determined to be fictitious; when the packages were opened, inspectors discovered the marijuana, which had been bundled beneath Styrofoam chunks and dryer sheets (commonly used to mask the odour of pot while in transit).

According to TSG:

Both packages were addressed to “Karen Wright,” which appears to be a fictitious name. A company phone operator said that nobody by that name works at the company, which is one of the country’s largest publishers (and a division of the Macmillan conglomerate). St. Martin’s roster of authors includes Robert Ludlum, Augusten Burroughs, and Frederick Forsyth.

Apart from seizing the marijuana – which, depending on its quality, could have had a street value approaching $70,000 – federal agents do not appear to be seeking to determine whom at St. Martin’s was expecting to receive the pot.

How do we know this could never happen here in Canada? Apart from most of the industry being way too staid and uptight to even contemplate such a thing, practically no one in Canadian publishing could afford to front $70,000 worth of weed, at least not without help from a government grant.