Border Patrol Wins Battle Against Weed Catapult

The trillion dollars we have spent waging the drug war? Not so wasteful after all. We have the technology...to stop 8th century (B.C.) technology! From the New York Daily News

Mexican soldiers on Wednesday seized a large drug catapult that smugglers were using to launch packages of pot into a remote area of Arizona.

U.S. National Guard troops at the Naco Border Patrol station about 80 miles southeast of Tucson tipped off the Mexican Army after a surveillance camera spotted several traffickers hurling bundles of weed over the border last Friday night.

The grainy surveillance video below indicates that the contraption is the most basic of catapult designs; the smugglers are required to pull down the arm manually to fire their potent packets. Once they upgrade from "traction" technology to a full-on counterweight machine, there's no telling how quickly Southwestern skies will turn from blue to green. 

Tucson Border Patrol spokesman David Jimarez tells the Associated Press that his team is prepared for anything, including weed catapults: 

"I have not seen anything like that in my time before as a Border Patrol agent...although we are trained to handle any kind of a threat that comes over that border," Jimarez added.

If we're going to fail with honor in prosecuting this insane "war" for another 30 years, it might be time for the Border Patrol to add a cataphract patrol. 

More from Reason on the Drug War here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    What would've been cool is for the Border Patrol to have used anti-missile technology to shoot down the catapulted loads. Preferably with an explosion and lots of fire.

  • ||

    If they want to keep it a challenge, they'll use an air cannon, preferably launching agents as the interception payload.

  • ||

    Or they could, following Mythbusters, use the Confederate rocket as a defense system.

  • The Gobbler||

    Better to use a water cannon. It will take forever for the weed to dry out.

  • ||

    We need to develop a counter-catapult system that hurls carnivorous apes back at the smugglers.

  • ||

    The flaw in your scheme is that the first wave of drug-filled projectiles would land on our precious, drug-free nation before the gorillas could eliminate the threat.

  • ||

    Two words: preemptive strike. The apes are in the air as we speak. Huzzah!

  • ||

    Oh, well, objection withdrawn!

  • ||

    Orrale, your war apes are easily defeated with our anti-ape countermeasures!

    I present to you...luggage!

    http://youtu.be/B2ZeIoLz8FE

  • I am not the Governments ATM||

    Good to see the Discovery Science Channel is provoking creativity.

  • JD the elder||

    WEEDAPULT! IHNTA, I just wanted to say that.

  • Spiny Norman||

    Potapult!

  • Ska||

    Ganjapult!

    Treebuchet!

    Trebudchet!

    Uh, pot-tosser!

  • Xeones||

    Tosspot?

  • Tman||

    It's only a matter of time before they develop............

    ....THE COMFY CHAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OH THE HUMANITY!!

  • ||

    Ooooh! Now, Cardinal--the rack!

  • Highway||

    Silly government guys, it's a trebuchet, not a catapult!

  • Kolohe||

    Yeah, but that's French which is too close to Mexican.

  • Spiny Norman||

    Isn't a trebuchet specifically a counterweighted catapult? That will probably be version 2.0.

  • Jason||

    It's a counterweight trebuchet.

  • Jason||

    On second viewing, it looks more like a traction trebuchet.

  • Xeones||

    Technically, it's a mangonel.

  • ||

    Couillard.

  • Abdul||

    A lot of D&D nerds on this thread. Can't wait to see the excitement when a DEA agent shoots a dealer armed with a glaive.

  • BakedPenguin||

    "Of course he had to shoot the guy, Balko! He had a +2 halberd!"

  • ||

    "The suspect was shot during the raid. The shooting was deemed appropriate as the suspect was gesturing and repeating the words 'lighting bolt' in a threatening manner."

  • ||

    Okay, that's funny.

  • ||

    Chronic chuckin'?

  • Bluntman||

    Layoff my sidekick!

  • Tim||

    If Boeing or some such had to develop this technology it would have taken decades and tens of billions.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Think of all the jobs that could have been created or saved if this hadn't been left to the Mexicans.

  • ||

    Are you suggesting that Mexican drug lords may put men on the Moon before we do? I mean, not counting what we did in the 60s and 70s.

  • Tim||

    I'm suggesting that the Mexicans will put pot on the moon before we do.

  • ||

    Impossible. See, if they looked like they might do that, the soldiers running our WoD would insist on colonizing, terraforming, and completely denying the Mexicans access to the Moon.

  • Brett L||

    I think its time to create a Lunatic Drug Cartel web-site.

  • ||

    Lunar drug lords would be able to fill containers full of their lunar drugs, and simply launch them at the Earth with mass drivers in containers with ablative shields.

  • Brett L||

    "Today DEA headquarters was flattened by 200 metric tons of marijuana thrown from space. Congress held an emergency joint session where they formed a committee of the whole and repealed all statutes related to sale, possession, and consumption of marijuana. The President immediately signed the new law."

  • ||

    The nuclear option!

  • ||

    "That lunar bong has the destructive power of 1,000 Hiroshima bombs!"

  • Ska||

    Congress would still manage to fuck up the joint session by not bringing papers, thus forcing hundreds to smoke from a crushed aluminum can with holes punched in it.

  • ||

    Do not disparage the soda can bong; it has salvaged more Saturday nights than all the Doritios and Chocodiles ever produced.

  • Tim||

    And then the MARSIJUANA meteors began to hit...

  • ||

    I'm suggesting that the Mexicans will put pot on the moon before we do.

    Major Tom ain't gonna like that.

  • Tim||

    Something fun to do when they're not detaining US citizens in the California desert for no reason.

  • Name Nomad||

    Kataphractoi were heavily armored and slow -- best for smashing into lines of infantry. What you'd want for catapult detail would be light cavalry.

  • omg||

    I can tell you from countless hours of experience playing "Medieval Total War 2" that heavy cavalry are perfectly capable of dispatching Catapult and Trebuchet formations with ease.

    The trick is to have a "suicide" cavalry force that runs out and bitchslaps their heavy siege equipment. This will force the AI to attack before it is done pummeling your walls, which might funnel them into easily defendable "kill zones". If that is impractical or impossible, your best bet is pulling back to the town center/castle keep and making your last stand there.

  • ||

    I remember a trick where you would move your cavalry just in front of their army and then kept moving back to the gate as soon as they started chasing you. I remember destroying the entire Mongol army while not losing one single soldier.

  • omg||

    Archers with the ability to deploy stakes are also key. The cavalry will just run into them, making for some pretty hilarious visuals as horses die by the thousands trying to run through them.

  • PETA||

    We'd like a word with you...

  • Spoonman.||

    In Rome:Total War, doing bridge defense against a chariot-using faction is epic. It looks like they melt, and suddenly you've destroyed an entire Egyptian full stack.

    I always have a cavalry unit kill the enemy's siege equipment too. It's a necessity.

  • omg||

    I love bridge defense. Whenever I'm in enemy territory, I always park my army right on top of a bridge and dare them to attack me. Bonus points if the army has catapults or ballistas.

    I wish there was a way to just open your doors and let them in. I don't particularly want them to find ways around my gate, I want them to waltz right through and get poked by some Billmen. Then I want the cavalry to ram themselves into the pikes to make a "dead horseman fountain" that sprays all over the place.

  • ||

    Kataphractoi were heavily armored and slow -- best for smashing into lines of infantry. What you'd want for catapult detail would be light cavalry.

    Slow isn't a problem, because nothing on the battlefield is slower than a catapult.

    Whether you go light or heavy depends on how the catapults are defended.

  • omg||

    I predict Pumpkin' Chunkin' will be illegal in about 5 minutes and all launching contraptions will be seized for being "drug paraphernalia".

  • Spur||

    How long before they are launching bath salts at our exceptional nation?

  • ||

    I was just about to mention that: "[Florida Attorney General] Bondi issues ban on stimulants known as bath salts." Don't know if that's overreach or justified by the effects of the bath salts in question, but it sounds weird, first blush.

  • Mango Punch||

    Don't know if that's overreach or justified by the effects of the bath salts in question


    Pretty sure it's overreaction, considering taking baths smoking bath salts is a victimless crime.

  • BakedPenguin||

    "So you've been selling magnesium sulfate heptahydrate, huh? You sick bastard! Taking advantage of the elderly that way!"

  • ||

    Don't laugh, BP. Soon, we Floridians will be denied the comfort of baths altogether.

  • Brett L||

    If I wanted to not bathe, I'd move to Europe. They can have my baths when they pry from them my clean dead ass.

  • ||

    I'm sure there'll be a black market in bathing.

  • Brett L||

    Ooh, I might not mind running an illicit bath house for FSU coeds. I'm in favor of this new law. For the just-barely-no-longer-children!

  • Urkobold™||

    IT IS AN ORAL IMPERATIVE.

  • ||

    Redeye has turned the nation on to a new high. But toads are free for the licking!

  • Xeones||

    Weird! Just the other day, i was wondering, "How come nobody's ever used medieval siege weaponry to just hurl drugs across the border?" For real.

  • ||

    You should join the intelligence arm of the Border Patrol.

  • Xeones||

    They have a Precrime Unit?

  • ||

    If they don't, I'm sure they will.

  • ||

    If only we could have a prebudget group, that could identify wasteful spending and seize the legislator before he can submit the amendment.

  • ||

    That's impossible in this universe.

  • Vaccine||

    Too easy. It would be far more difficult to predict which legislator WOULD NOT engage in wasteful spending.

  • ||

    the intelligence arm of the Border Patrol.

    ROFL, dude. Totally ROFLing.

  • Spur||

    Unknowingly the recipient of some of that far flung weed?

  • ||

    If you catch it, you can keep it!

  • sarcasmic||

    Holy geekness! I've seen references to like five Discovery Channel shows. Wait a minute. I recognized them all. Uh oh.

  • Tim||

    They should try launching a bucket of water with seeds in it.

  • Pip||

    + 1

  • Fluffy||

    I don't know who this Josh Brokaw guy is, but +1000000000000 for having the first post of his I notice include a cataphract reference.

    Deadly with cannabis are the Mexicans.

  • Joe R.||

    I can't believe he linked that cataphract article without including the epic picture included within.

  • Brett L||

    Our comments have to be civil and on-topic, now? When did this happen?

  • ||

    I just saw that. I'm afraid I'm pretty guilty of going off-topic. Is there a ban hammer with my name on it?

  • Ragin Cajun||

    Just don't mention the sheep.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Civil and on topic?
    Fuck. Did anybody see the latest episode of American Idol?

  • ||

    Only morons watch that show, fool.

  • ||

    What is this you speak of?

  • ||

    Ignore. Just saw it. I've been blowing past it all day.

  • ||

    I've never watched it, but I understand it's some sort of reality show with celebrities who judge amateurs singing various songs.

  • Muhammed||

    It's a show about false prophets.

  • ||

    No, it's okay, no need for jihad. It's a show about false profits.

  • Fox TV exec||

    It's a show about false profits.

    Oh, they're fuckin' real, lemme tell you.

  • ||

    Not for them, silly.

  • Restoras||

    Or You-Know-Who

  • ||

    Virginia Postrel?

  • Pip||

    Where have you gone, Virginia Postrel?
    A group blog turns its lonely eyes to you,
    Whoo-hoo-hoo,
    Whoo-hoo-hoo.

  • sevo||

    Uh, sorry, that's off-topic: Banned at Reason!

  • Tim||

    The Space Joints have affected us.

  • ||

    Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time.


    Yeah, that's gonna work.

  • Virginia||

    Travian alt-text FTW!

  • Citizen Nothing||

    They need one of these.
    I saw this baby unveiled. Awesome. If I were a drug lord, I'd have me one.

  • ||

    I caught a Bucs t-shirt fired from one of the cannons on that ship we have in the endzone some years ago (at a Saints game the year before we were in the same division).

  • ||

    That was a civil, on-topic comment, right? Because I was talking about an objected launched by a mechanical device.

  • ||

    Are all launchings on topic?

  • ||

    I'm not sure. Who makes the determination?

  • ||

    Are bio/mechanical devices allowed? I am trying not to offend.

  • ||

    Say, I have been commenting here for quite some time. Maybe I'm the Civility and Relevance Czar? That would be so awesome.

  • Brett L||

    Didn't you once claim power of life & death over the comments?

  • ||

    Yes, but I didn't think they'd take me seriously.

  • ||

    Object, nonobjected. Sorry if my error offended anyone.

  • Paul||

    Clearly, we need the FCC to start controlling the Discovery Channel.

    In other semi-related 'drug war' news, Washington State is now considering a bill to make it illegal to smoke in your car with child inside. This bill is being pushed by an organization whose name I couldn't remember exactly, but has "against violenence and substance abuse" in their name.

    The war on tobacco is the war on drugs.

  • Mango Punch||

    Weed catapult: Most effectual way to get the besieged to use up their food stores.

  • Brett L||

    +420

  • ||

    the smugglers are required to pull down the arm manually to fire their potent schwaggy, shitty, stemmy, seedy packets.

    FTFY.

  • ||

    You know, Colombian drug lords have submarines. How come Mexican drug lords are so far behind?

  • ||

    Anybody with initiative has already gotten into the US. Hard to run a drug gang with employees who aren't even smart enough to get themselves over the border, much less bundles of weed.

  • ||

    So, thanks to our actions, Mexican drug lords are de-evolving?

  • ||

    They will need to in order to fight our apes hand to hand.

  • ||

    Ah, you refer to Solanum's preemptive carnivorous ape-launching plan?

  • ||

    Yes, but my question is: Gagged apes for a stealthy insertion (Operation: Ninjarilla) or ungagged apes so that their guttural howls of uncomprehending fear will strike terror in the enemy?

  • ||

    If you're asking me, I believe that the latter option offers the "shock and awe" effect favored by military leaders today.

  • ||

    or ungagged apes so that their guttural howls of uncomprehending fear will strike terror in the enemy?

    The U.S. military attempted a similar plan (Operation: S. Smith) on the western indian tribes in the 19th century. Unfortunately, the indians alone weren't enough to satiate their, um, appetites.

  • ||

    STEVE SMITH: ISSUE ZERO

  • BakedPenguin||

    That reminds me - back in the mid-90's, there was a metal band here in Orlando called Raped Ape.

  • Brett L||

    Its like our cunning plan to deplete everyone else's strategic resources while we keep ours due to "environmentalism".

  • ||

    Jesus, that's brilliant. I've never thought of it that way. I must reassess my opinion of our government.

  • Brett L||

    Sometimes it comforts me in my deepest moments of cynicism to pretend that the government is actually hyper-competent and there are intelligent reasons for the idiocy that passes for policy. Its either that or start cutting on Emo kids.

  • ||

    Not enough water in the Rio Grande. A sub would run aground before it got submerged.

  • ||

    I didn't mean subs qua subs. I just meant technology from, I dunno, this millennium?

  • ||

    However they do it, I just wish they'd ship up some halfway decent grass for once.

  • Ska||

    Our neighbors to the north really do have much better product.

  • Pip||

    A Matamoros / Galveston route would work.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    After this, the Salami Rocket?

  • ||

    I suggest we present the smugglers with a Trojan Rabbit filled with border agents. What could go wrong?

  • ||

    Nothing. I have it on good authority that the Mexicans got rid of the French more than 100 years ago.

  • ||

    I launch in your general direction.

  • ||

    Appear that they may have missed one.

  • Tim||

    "Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time."

    Ya know what would be a great feature? A DELETE button posters could use on each other. The fucking bloodbath would be hilarious.

  • ||

    Why not just restore inline images and the blink tag?

  • ||

    DELETE

  • ||

    Mine's not working. Tim is still here.

  • ||

    No, it's working. I was posting a comment, and it totally vanished.

  • Tim||

    DOUBLE DELETE!

  • ||

    Whoa. I was thinking about commenting and then forgot what I was thinking about!

  • CraigT||

    From what I read this morning this thing was only throwing pot stones of about 4.4lbs. Not a very efficient way to smuggle your drugs. My own personal theory is that this was part of a larger, probably very successful, plan for importing far larger quantities.
    It goes something like this.
    "OK you 3 guys take this catapult and start throwing small amounts of weed over the fence. Once you have the attention of every military and law enforcement official within 50 miles the rest of us will drive the trucks full of weed across the now unsecured border."

  • ||

    I had a similar thought; Mexicans sitting around a table drinking beer and laughing about how stupid the Americans are for falling for their gag catapult.

    If they start throwing pressed marijuana frisbees, or charging the border to toss over balls with jai alai equipment, I think we can just assume they are messing with us.

  • Monkey's Uncle||

    Or filming the music video for "Neun un neunzig kush ballons"?

  • jasno||

    You test it out with weed - once it works you use bricks of heroin or cocaine.

    Seriously though, it really wouldn't be that hard for them to press either heroin or cocaine into something like a plastic easter egg and shoot them onto the roof of a friendly warehouse across the border.

  • Tim||

    "The next day the catapult was turned over to the DEA for examination and one of their professional agents catapulted himself with it accidentally.

  • Fluffy||

    I would love to see that.

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure we built something like this in college, and for much the same reason. Oddly enough, I can't remember all the details.

  • ||

    They have been using ultralights down here for years. Sometimes the Air Force scrambles jets to go after them

  • ||

    The problem is, a lot of people are making money off the drug war, and it's not just drug dealers.

    The entire DEA makes their living off of it.
    Local cops benefit from forfeitures and equipment and manpower.
    The FBI gets money to fight it, which pays the salary of numerous officers.
    Prisons benefit from it.

    Basically the entire law enforcement industry gets a huge portion of their cashflow from the drug war.

    If drugs were actually legalized, they would lose all that money and equipment and tens of thousands of cops, FBI, and DEA agents would end up getting laid off.

  • from today's paper||

    Five years in prison for medical marijuana grower

    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_17226811

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