Note to marijuana smugglers: If you're going to haul 40 pounds of weed into Southern California in your private airplane, you might want to do that on the 364 other days of the year when President Barack Obama isn't using the same airspace.
It's unclear where the airplane was heading, but the pilot found himself escorted by a pair of fighter jets to Long Beach's airport, where he was promptly arrested.
The fact the plane ended up in Long Beach has its own special irony. Just two days earlier, Long Beach's city council banned medical marijuana dispensaries from operating inside the city, with the exception of 18 clubs that the city is allowing to grow and distribute cannabis while it continues to study the issue for the next four months. The vote came amid protests that banning cannabis collectives that operate openly and transparently is simply going to give the cannabis supply business back to marijuana smugglers.
Award-winning investigative journalist Nick Schou is Editor of OC Weekly. He is the author of Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb (Nation Books 2006), which provided the basis for the 2014 Focus Features release starring Jeremy Renner and the L.A. Times-bestseller Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love’s Quest to bring Peace, Love and Acid to the World, (Thomas Dunne 2009). He is also the author of The Weed Runners (2013) and Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood (2016).