March 3, 2013
Mexican Pot Cannon
Living in a poorer country requires a certain ingenuity to thrive. Anyone remember Luis Grass and his two attempts to drive vintage American cars across the Bay from Cuba to Florida? Or better yet, his 24 day ordeal to bring his family over land from Costa Rica, through the checkpoint at Matamoros, Mexico and into the US? Grass isn’t the only one to attempt to drive from Cuba to Florida, nor are the intrepid truckonauts the only ones to show such ingenuity to better their lives. The “wet foot, dry foot” policy of the US government basically says that if a Cuban national is caught on the water between the nations, they will be returned to Cuba, but if they make it to shore, they are allowed to stay and an try for legal permanent resident status and eventually citizenship. I like this policy, but let’s give the devil his due. Grass’ perseverance and sheer genius at transforming antique automobiles into seaworthy vehicles should have earned him some leeway!
About ten years ago, I visited Big Bend National Park with my mom and daughter. The Mexican American border runs down the middle of the Rio Grande River, so as long as people stay at least halfway in the river, they are in the proper countries. As we were hiking around the Hot Springs area on the banks of the river, we saw three men with a burro on the far side. The burro was laden with .. products, shall we say, and the men had devised a way to do business with American tourists without crossing that imaginary, invisible line in the middle of the river. They would shout across to the tourists, explaining what wares they had, and how much they were. If you agreed on a price, they would put the product in a gallon milk jug tied to a rope, one of the men would wade out into the river halfway and toss the milk jug across to you. You took your purchase, put your money inside and tossed it back into the water for retrieval. Ingenious, really.
Today, I read about another truly inspired idea, although this one doesn’t just skirt being illegal, it shoots right over it into felony territory.
Yahoo News reports that the Mexican police have confiscated a pot cannon. Yep, you heard that right, a pot cannon. The device was made from plastic pipe and powered by an old car engine. It used compressed air to shoot packages of marijuana over the border fence from near Mexicali, Mexico into California. Now, I’ve heard of pumpkin catapults, and potato cannons, but really? Bales of marijuana?
It seems, much like Grass’ attempt to drive to the US, the Mexicali cannon isn’t the first, or only attempt to shoot weed across the Mexico/US border. An NBC report in December of last year, 85 pounds of ganja was shot across the border in cans. More than 30 cans, worth over $42,000, were found along the banks of the Colorado River in Yuma, Arizona showing signs of having been shot from some sort of “pneumatic device.”
I’m not usually one to support illegal activity, and I think trafficking in drugs is a horrible business. But you just have to admire the pure gumption of such an idea.
Image Credit: pashabo / Shutterstock