Not that long ago being a marijuana-smoker was not something that one bragged about, and being a marijuana dealer carried a stigma with it, since that was not accepted in the majority of social circles or communities anywhere. A long-time Las Vegas high-roller named Jimmy Chagra — whose name isn’t that well known today — was a legend on the famous Las Vegas Strip back in his day.
According to gaming experts, Jimmy Chagra gambled millions, handed out $10,000 tips to cocktail waitresses, and sometimes even paid off the mortgages of certain casino workers. Chagra was active as a trafficker in marijuana and the money he had was the product of his marijuana business, an enterprise that sent him to prison despite all the charitable gestures and financial help he offered to others. According to one observer, he was “the undisputed marijuana kingpin of the Western world,” but many of those people who benefited from Chagra’s generosity on many occasions denied knowing the person who financially helped so many of them. The late Jasper Spaciale went to a federal prison for loaning money at only 2 percent interest a week to those who needed a quick loan until payday because loan-sharking was considered a mob-related business, and it was an illegal business as well.
Today there are legit loan sharks on almost every corner in Clark County, charging as much as 39 percent interest; but because they are licensed and give a piece of the action to the city or the county, they are called payday loans.
Today, many of our community’s elite — those who walk around with their nose high in the air and are considered the “royalty” of our community and of a caste that would not have been seen with the likes of Chagra of yesteryear — are proudly appearing before the County Commissioners asking for a license to be drug-dealers. From a sitting Judge (Jim Bixler) to the son of the Senate Majority Leader (Rory Reid) to a narcotic detective and political pundit (David Kallas) to a powerful political consultant (Sig Rogich) to a newspaper magnate owner of several newspapers in the area and casino owner (Bryan Greenspun), as well as casino executives and real estate tycoons and almost anyone who is someone in Las Vegas, including those who still hide their names under some of their puppets to avoid the publicity: they all want a piece of the pie, a piece of the marijuana market fortune.
Only those with money and clout are allowed to be marijuana dealers in order to keep the money within the same elite group. No outsiders are allowed. Most of them may have seen the numbers and learned about the millions and billions the drug trade can add to their bank accounts, which in many cases are not that healthy right now and are just limping along under their name history and reputation.
The astronomical amount that the drug trade produces to everyone involved with it is enough to make the most respected citizen interested in becoming a drug-dealer. Just to give an example of how much the drug business can contribute to any community and the amount of money the drug-dealers could have deposited into their bank accounts (if they didn’t choose to just stash it away to hide it from the IRS), the following incomes of a few will make many want to quit their regular job and join the now legit business of making money the “old-fashioned drug-dealing way.”
Joaquín Loera a.k.a. Chapo Guzman $1 Billion; Al Capone $1.3 Billion; Griselda Blanco $2 Billion; Carlos Lehder $2.7 Billion; The Orejuela Brothers $3 Billion; Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha $5 Billion; Khun Sa, Net Worth $5 Billion; The Ochoa Brothers $6 Billion; Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, Net Worth $6.7 Billion; Amado Carrillo Fuentes $25 Billion; Pablo Escobar $30 Billion. That is not counting the royalties they may get for their life story and television movies like Griselda Blanco and Pablo Escobar (no relation to District Court Judge Adriana Escobar now running for reelection), whose life stories have been brought to the small screen.
Will those illustrious members of our community act and behave like the drug-dealers of the past and give out astronomical amounts of money in tips and pay off the mortgages of those less privileged than they who have the drug-dealing licenses? We seriously doubt that the privileged members in any community would know how to spread the wealth and just do it. But the so-called criminals…? When they get wet, they splash!