Pot Edward Island

By ALAN R. EARLS  |  August 19, 2008

“I have heard that, in the past, pot plants would sometimes be intermingled with tobacco plants, because they’re tall enough to hide the pot plants from aerial surveillance,” says Nabuu. He notes, however, that tobacco is no longer grown on PEI, so guerilla growers have had to become more imaginative.

Many of the mainstream farmers Nabuu represents — for the most part a prosperous bunch in this “Garden of the Gulf” — aren’t paying much attention to the burgeoning industry. Potatoes are big business here in PEI, not to mention dairying, and berrying. The group’s members are more concerned about rocketing fuel costs and new provincial crop-rotation mandates, says Nabuu.

But PEI’s pot production could have wider consequences. Though not specifically focused on PEI, a 2007 DEA report, “The National Drug Threat Assessment,” states that New Englanders are getting more and more marijuana from north of the border. In an ironic reprise of the States’ Prohibition era, when enterprising Maritimers made a good living supplying the US with gin and whisky, the DEA says pot and hard drugs are now coming south by land from such places as Quebec and New Brunswick, and via ocean shipments emanating from the Maritimes in general.

For now, PEI’s contribution to this aspect of international trade is still below the radar. But one thing is clear: PEI pot is no longer small potatoes.

Alan R. Earls is a Boston-area writer. He can be reached atearls_alan@yahoo.com.

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