So this was pretty much the most dope we'd ever seen in one place. It was at least an acre. We'd have to check our notes [This American Life-esque full disclosure: we didn't take notes] but we think the General said that his men had confiscated something like 25,000 similar fields in the past couple of years. This is why marijuana is no longer available anywhere in the US or Mexico. And we were assured that the quantity was matched by the quality - this was the primo shit, sure to bring in $5000 a pound on the street. Some back-of-the-envelope calculations were done, and we were told we were looking at a couple of million bucks worth of product, all of which was about to go up in smoke.
The troops then lined up and began pulling up the stalks one at a time, advancing through the field like a pack of Merida Initiative-funded locusts. Now, with all due respect to our hosts, who [spoiler alert!] admirably and successfully prevented us from being beheaded: we know $5000-a-pound weed. $5000-a-pound weed is a friend of ours. Mi general, this is no $5000-a-pound weed.
"They're pulling it up with one-hand!" said our friend, whose expertise in these matters is rivaled only by Tommy Chong's. "With the kind of roots laid down by the first-rate shit, you should need two hands - and you'll still get a hernia." He literally looked down his nose at the growing pile of dope, now the size of a VW Bus. "This is skunk weed."
Still, it was like half a ton of skunk weed and it was about to be burned all at once in the mountains of Sinaloa so that it wouldn't be burned in tiny increments in rec rooms in America. Which seems like a pretty ridiculous way to spend a morning, but it's something you don't get to see every day.
And before you make the obvious joke, no, a ton of fresh dope being set afire doesn't get everyone within a five mile radius stoned. It just creates a cloud of acrid black smoke that does nothing to alleviate the fact that you're in a humid, mosquito-infested jungle clearing.
But then, when the burn is fully underway, the troops take a moment to pose for a souvenir photo in front of the bonfire. It's really quite sweet.
One hundred highly-trained Mexican Army troops, a dozen vehicles, air support, and the presence of at least three officers ranked Colonel or higher, ripping up and burning an acre of skunk weed. The reverberations were felt 500 miles away, in Southern California, as high school kids looking to score a dimebag were forced to text, "GOT N E WEED?" two or three times rather than just once.
And that, dear reader, is how the War on Drugs was won. The following morning, just after sunrise, drugs signed a treaty of unconditional surrender aboard the USS Carl Vinson, stationed off the coast of San Diego.