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Founding Member of the Cannabis Crew
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The Original Cannabis Entrepreneurs

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Meet Cannabis Smuggler Skip Steele!
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Meet the Original 1970's Cannabis Crew
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Meet the Cannabis Crew

Meet 70's Pot Smuggler Skip Steele

Meet Skip Steele

Surfer, Waterman, passionate “head”. Skip Steele brought together Watermen and Air Force Officers for the first large scale cannabis smuggling operations of the 1970’s. 
Meet Captain Ray Stansel

Meet Raymond Grady Stansel

Captain Raymond Grady Stansel was an original player in the earliest days of Caribbean Cannabis Smuggling. With a career that was refined in the straits, bays and open ocean of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean beyond, Capt. Ray defined the epitome of the peaceful gentlemen smuggler in the mid-60’s and early 70’s.
Meet 70's Pot Smuggler Will Knox

Meet Will Knox

Will Knox was an American Hero. From Fulbright Scholar in his early years to combat veteran with over 200 missions in the air over Vietnam, Will personified the prototype of the independent, courageous patriot that defined the American dream.
Meet 70's cannabis smuggler Eric Spatz

Meet Eric Spatz

Eric Spatz was the wild card in the Cannabis Crew. A seasoned Intelligence Officer, Eric did the things necessary to make any mission a success.

1970’s Marijuana Smuggling Overview

This is the story of Skip Steele and the Cannabis Crew, a team of early pioneers of the Caribbean cannabis smuggling trade in the late 1960’s and throughout the decade of the 1970’s. Skip and his partners were an unlikely and intrepid group of Air Force Academy Officers, who, having been disillusioned by the atrocities of the Vietnam War, joined forces with a group of surfers and watermen to develop some of the first large scale smuggling operations of high quality Colombian Marijuana to the fervent and growing base of “heads” throughout the United States of America in cities which included Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, up and Down the East Coast, and throughout major cities in California and Washington. Motivated by their common love for adventure and the gift that is cannabis, together this crew of saltwater hardened smugglers imported enormous amounts of marijuana from South America, Africa and Thailand, eventually flooding the streets of a changing societal landscape in America in the late 60’s and early 1970’s.

From humble beginnings, these group of unlikely patriots forged a lifestyle of incredible wealth, international exploits, intrigue and adventure beyond which any of them could have ever imagined.

At Ganja Outpost, we are thrilled that the original members of the “Cannabis Crew” are kind enough to share anecdotes from a life lived at the front lines of the failed and useless “War on Drugs” that has plagued American society since the 60’s. The original “Cannabis Crew“, including Skip Steele, shared an unwritten creed by which they conducted every aspect of their marijuana smuggling enterprises. This code revolved around respect for the herb, for each other, and the risky business they were undertaking.

Meet the 1970's Cannabis Crew

Explore our 1970’s Marijuana Smuggling Tales

Start at the beginning…

Dive into the Cannabis Crew with our introduction to Skip’s stories. Get a taste of what it was like when a large gig went off without a hitch…

How Air Force Officers & Surfers Imported Over 900,000 Pounds Of Colombian Cannabis

Skip Steele and the Cannabis Crew Fly-in “November three zero four nine Lima, to Cuban Ground control, over.” Will spoke into the mic of the Cessna 310. “Cuban Ground, go ahead Captain” was the reply, in broken English and fading across the dash mounted radio. “We’re approaching your airspace to transit the Heron Corridor, inbound […]

Stay up-to-date! Read the latest tale…

Been keeping up with Skip’s stories? Explore the latest stories from a life lived at the front lines of the failed War on Cannabis.

Paperbag with 30k

After selling three bales of fresh Jamaican Ganja that was fronted to him by his sister’s boyfriend, RJ, Skip Steele had a personal stash of around a pound of high quality herb and a collection of around $30,000.00 cash. In this chapter, Skip recounts the backgrounds of his closest partners and outlines the events that […]

Stay current with the latest stories!

A Cannabis Smuggler’s Code of Honor

During the height of their career, the Cannabis Crew stuck to a strict code of respect with one another and on every gig.

A Commitment to Peace

A Commitment to Peace

In keeping with the time, the members of The Cannabis Crew believed in a code of peace and an honor forged among business partners in heavy situations in the air, sea and streets of Central America, the Caribbean and beyond. If a load went bad, they covered each other. If someone ripped them off, they simply walked away from ever doing business with that person again. They believed in the call to peace that was being pleaded for by a generation of Americans who were ready for a new state of mind that was quickly catching fire in hotspots around the US and they passed these values into their exploits in the cannabis business.



As lovers of the gift that is marijuana, Skip and the Cannabis Crew made a commitment to only smuggle cannabis. Over the course of almost two decades in the pot industry, the Cannabis Crew believed that the game of international cannabis smuggling was truly a “gentleman’s sport“.

While offered many opportunities to import other substances, including cocaine, to the shores of America, the Cannabis Crew repeatedly declined anything other than cannabis on their boats. Simply put, the Crew were committed to the honor that is embodied in the magic of cannabis as a plant for restorative, health and inspirational means.



The early days of marijuana smuggling were created on the honor and commitment in the bond that is a man’s word. Members of the Cannabis Crew never carried guns or engaged in contracts during smuggling operations.

If someone involved in a “gig” took advantage, commandeered or ripped off any part of the load, the core group simply made the decision to not work with those groups again. Partners were bound by their word on business decisions which relied on a strict code of trust for gigs to become a success. Millions of dollars were exchanged on handshakes, and trust, while the crew grew their smuggling operations into three continents.

Green Angel

Green Angel

The one condition of every load that the Cannabis Crew smuggled together was that on every gig there had to be 5 to 10 pounds of the very very freshest and best cannabis set aside for the core founding members of the team. This special, top-end reserve of every load was known among the group as the “Green Angel“, which the members would distribute among friends and family for the finest example of what was known as the best, first generation Colombian Gold and Thai bud.

Green Angel became the stuff of legends in the upper circles of the crew and was both celebrated and revered as the best strains known to man at that point in the early 1970’s.

Step into the World of International Intrigue & Adventure as a part of the

Original Cannabis Entrepreneurs

1 st
First Crew of Early Cannabis Smugglers to Establish Large Scale Cannabis Operations out of Colombia.
Over 900 Thousand Pounds of Cannabis imported between 1970 - 1980
Number of Retired Air Force Academy Officers in crew's inner-circle
Locations that Skip's Crew Smuggled From, including: Jamaica, Colombia, Morocco, Thailand

Who was the Cannabis Crew? Discover some of what made Skip Steele’s team the original cannabis entrepreneurs…


Medicine, Food, Clothing, Recreation, Stress Relief. Sound familiar? The powerful positive aspects of the Cannabis plant are becoming more and more evident to societies around the world. Skip and the Cannabis Crew have always believed that Cannabis has the power to heal our fragmented communities, often reminding partners and friends that the worst part about marijuana has been the laws persecuting its research and use. 


Prior to Skip & the Cannabis Crew, the majority of herb found on the shores of the United States in late 60’s & early 70’s was primarily Mexican dirt weed or lower quantities of higher quality Jamaican ganja. After initial “test” loads, Skip’s Crew started hauling multiple 100,000 pound loads from the jungles of the North Colombian coast back to Florida & the Eastern Seaboard as early as 1972, effectively flooding the consciousness of America with high quality Colombian Gold throughout the 1970’s.


The United States’ failed War on Drugs has plagued American society for over four decades. The Cannabis Crew fought on the frontline of this massive failed campaign throughout some of the most challenging periods in marijuana history and equality. Founding members of the crew now share their stories from a unique perspective. In time the Crew has lost brothers to the game; the Outpost is dedicated to their memory.


The Cannabis Crew were a group of hippie-surfer-watermen who joined forces with disillusioned Air Force Academy Officers freshly back in the States from the failed Vietnam War. Both groups were staunchly anti-war and committed to creating a lasting positive change for a more peaceful, conscious society. Cannabis was the engine for peace; a powerful gift from Mother Earth that could help to awaken the spiritual psyche of America in the 1970’s.


By the time the boys were finished with their smuggling careers in the early 80’s, their international exploits in Cannabis importation had expanded to four countries. From humble beginnings with Jamaican Ganja and beautiful Colombian Gold to Moroccan Hashish and large loads of Thai Stick, the Crew made efforts to introduce new and exciting first generation strains to a rabid US headbase until the mid-1980’s.


Ganja Outpost is a hardcore marijuana brand for true reefer aficionados. You won’t find clean-cut businessmen in suits clamoring to get their piece of the exploding cannabis industry here. You will find original ganja entrepreneurs who are passionate about sharing the history, love and gift of cannabis with a world that is aching for an alternative to maddening corporate insanity.

” We considerED it Gentlemen’s Sport…”

– ERIC SPATZ, 1986

the Original



In the early 1970’s, when other future pot smugglers were selling lids of their pot, the Cannabis Crew were moving 100,000 pound loads of the finest reefer in massive 95′ shrimp boats throughout the Caribbean and Eastern Seaboard. We hope that you enjoy these anecdotes of what it was like to be one of the original cannabis smugglers of the early 1970’s. All of these stories are presented exclusively for our visitors here at Ganja Outpost. They illustrate a story of real marijuana heroes who believed that cannabis could truly create lasting positive change for a society that is in need of a better vision for a united future. Skip and the “Cannabis Crew” were the originals in Marijuana Smuggling and have the scars from the “War against Drugs” to prove it. There are a few brothers from the original partners still with us. Some were lost in the game, while others have been lost to Father Time. This website is a dedication to the ones that have gone before us.

We hope you enjoy the continuing episodes of Skip Steele & the Cannabis Crew. These writings are inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names and events have been fictionalized. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and completely unintentional. We reserve the right to use a nom de guerre for any individual character found in these stories.

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