Thursday, August 20, 2015

Apparently They Never Saw Midnight Express


Ever seen the movie Midnight Express?  Ever known anyone that got popped trying to smuggle drugs in or out of a foreign territory?  Well it's a bit of a stretch, but the two stories relayed below reminded me a tiny bit of this movie.

The boyfriend had to go to Cooperstown, New York for a week this summer because his oldest son was in a baseball tournament.  He ended up taking both of his sons on the trip (his oldest son is 13 years old, and his youngest son is 10 years old). 

The boyfriend hits the weed pretty hard on a daily basis, and he was worried about how he was going to bring marijuana with him on his week-long trip to New York (marijuana is legal with a prescription in California, but it is NOT legal in New York).  I asked him what his plan was, and he ran a couple scenarios by me: Option 1) FedEx weed to his destination in New York so that he wouldn't have to try to get through airport security with it.  UH, I said NO, that is illegal.  Option 2) He said he would just hide vape pens in his luggage, or disperse vape pens and edibles in the luggage of his kids, thinking why would their luggage be inspected at the airport?  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When I heard this plan, I lost it and asked him if he wanted to be the dad arrested at the airport in front of his children for attempting to transport illegal drugs across state lines, VIA HIS CHILDREN.  Welllllll, he didn't like the sound of that and decided to keep thinking on the dilemma.  

I told him he could always DO WITHOUT weed -- it was only a week-long trip, and that was definitely the safest route.  So, he thought long and hard about the situation, and eventually he somewhat woefully decided he would take the trip sans marijuana.    

Going a week without any kind of marijuana WASN'T EASY FOR HIM.  But he did it!!!  Withdrawal was no fun -- excessive sweating, loss of appetite, inability to sleep, anxiety, etc.  But he DID IT.  That's a pretty big achievement in my book!  I figured after this major accomplishment he might just cut out weed completely from his life, but that's a tall order for a chronic marijuana smoker.  So, needless to say, he is back home and hitting it pretty hard again.  But there are worse things in life, so I try not to give him too much grief about it.  Plus I also indulge in the occasional toke and/or cocktail, so it isn't really fair to point the finger at him.

While the boyfriend was getting ready for the trip mentioned above and trying to decide how he would handle his predicament, I told my co-worker about the dilemma.  My co-worker was very interested in the situation, as he is also a habitual weed smoker and he was about to take a 6-week vacation to Paris with his girlfriend (note: marijuana is NOT LEGAL in France).

My co-worker and his girlfriend had their weed acquisition strategy ready for their upcoming trip -- the plan was to fly from Los Angeles to Amsterdam, stock up on weed while in Amsterdam, carefully hide the weed in their luggage, and then take a train to Paris.

So, they took the long flight from LA to Amsterdam, bought about 40 grams of weed in various shops, divvied it up between their luggage, and then boarded a train bound for Paris.  I think that it's about a 4 hour train ride.  About 3 hours into the trip, they noticed plain-clothes policemen had entered their train with drug-sniffing dogs.  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!  All they could do was remain seated as the policemen and dogs got closer and closer to them.  As they closed in, one dog took a big interest in my co-worker, sniffing all around him very intently.  A policeman pointed to the luggage above my co-worker, and asked my co-worker if it belonged to him.  Co-worker confirmed it was his.  The policeman removed the bag from the shelf and placed it in front of the dog.  The dog went ballistic -- losing his mind over the bag.  And it was very, very clear that there were drugs inside of it. 

The policeman then asked my co-worker to take a walk with him. He asked him all sorts of questions, and my co-worker just told the truth, basically admitting that he knew marijuana was illegal in France, but that he and his girlfriend were on a long vacation and just wanted some for their personal use.  The policeman asked if his girlfriend also had weed in her luggage.  Co-worker confirmed she did.  The policeman escorted my co-worker back to his seat, and then asked his girlfriend to take a walk with him.  The policeman interviewed her, and she pretty much gave the same story.  The policeman escorted the girlfriend back to her seat, and then instructed them both to continue riding the train to Paris, and that they should meet him at the train station platform in Paris where they would be arrested.  

So...they got to sit on the train and think about the situation for the next freaking hour, and wonder what the hell was going to happen to them.  

Once they arrived in Paris, they headed up to the train station platform where they met the policeman and were arrested.   Their passports were confiscated.  Their marijuana was confiscated.  They were escorted to some sort of rinky-dink jail at the train station.  Then they were locked up in separate cells away from each other.  And, of course, they were quietly freaking out.  They did not know what would happen next.  The policemen eventually told them that there was a fine for their crime -- telling my co-worker that he would have to pay 200 euros, and his girlfriend would have to pay 140 euros.  They received this news with relief, and they paid their fines and were released.  No more jail time.  No notifying Paris police or Interpol.  No court proceedings required.  No dings on their passports.  Case closed.  PHEW.  The policeman told them if ALL of the weed had been in one bag of luggage, they would have been in a lot more trouble.  EEEEE. 

OMFG these kinds of stories give me a heart attack!  I have a risk aversion and never want to put myself in this sort of predicament!  Eeek!  Not worth it!  But that's just me!

If these kinds of stories/scenarios entertain you, try watching Midnight Express. It's a doozy and a great cautionary tale!