SO LONG, FAREWELL...
The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot
Thursday, November 13, 2008
For the past few days, I've been hooked on weeds, the Showtime dramedy about a semi-rich White suburban housewife who moonlights as her neighborhood dopegirl. After her husband drops dead of a heart attack, Nancy Botwin peddles dime bags to her neighbors and friends in an effort to maintain her lifestyle for herself and her two sons. Initially, I thought the show would be full of unfunny cliches but I actually find it to be quite interesting and hilarious. Afterall, those of us who live in houses without cable can't reject the gift of a dvd. Gotta have something to watch when nothing's on the 3 channels I get for free (until Feb 09).
Anywho, I also like the show because it depicts the widespread usage of marijuana in White affluent communities and because with each episode, I secretly hope that Nancy will get busted and end up doing serious time. A little bit of justice to make things right in the world. In episode 5 of season 1, I almost got my wish when Nancy's brother in law Andy gets popped for simple possession. Andy tries to go into business for himself since Nancy won't let him in on her hustle. On his way back from picking up the product at Nancy's supplier, Andy gets pulled over for running a stop sign. Thankfully it's Agrestic, California and not Any Hood, America and the cop intends to let Andy on his way with a warning to stop and look both ways next time. But Andy gets smart at the mouth so the the cop pulls Andy out of the car, smells the weed and takes him down to the station.
Cut to Nancy and Andy post-arrest meeting with a lawyer played by Alison Janney. Ms. Janney informs Andy that because he had less than an ounce of weed on him, the most he'll get is probation and an anti-drug class. Cause less than an ounce is a misdemeanor. Nosy Nancy starts asking all these questions about penalties for getting caught with more green or for distribution, you know, just in case. Ms. Janney "says that's only if the cop's an asshole; most cops just let you go. "
I laughed at the irony. Really Ms. Janney? Only in tv land or the right side of the tracks would that happen. It makes sense though, kinda sounds about right. You should get a slap on the wrist for having some weed. It's from the Earth, doesn't harm anybody, makes you feel good, etc. But being as how I deal with marijuana cases everyday I shook my head in disgust. Where I'm at, if you're caught with any thing, an ounce, a joint, some stems and seeds, the lingering aroma in your ride, you're facing 6 months in jail plus a fine when you get out. Most judges won't lock you up for that long but they will make you do some probation, often up to a year's time and pay over $400 in fines and fees. Taint so bad when you take that in the abstract.
But if you're picked up again for that same amount, on your second offense you are looking at a felony. 5 years in jail. FOR SOME WEED! And don't get caught a third time, for that same joint, cause its a wrap. 20 years. FOR SOME WEED!
It's estimated that 4.8 million Americans age 12 and up use marijuana at least once a month. On any given day down here, more than 50% of the people arrested are taken down to central lockup not for violent crimes, not for shootings, murders, robberies, but FOR SOME WEED! Usually a joint or less.
Some argue that marijuana is the gateway drug to coke, her-roin, and meth. Pish posh. I know 50 year old weed smokers who have never touched anything stronger in their lives. Old men who take a toke every Saturday evening in the comfort of their own homes to calm they nerves and unwind. When's the last time you heard of a weedhead holding up the corner store? Have you ever heard somebody getting shot over some weed or dying of lung cancer from too much weed inhalation? Yeah, I thought not.
That's why I say let's make it like cigarettes, the real deadly tobacco. Package it up and put it on the shelf right between the menthols and the cloves. Add a 25% tax to it. Think of the tax revenue that legal marijuana sales could generate. 'Bama could fund universal healthcare and national education programs from one year's receipts alone.
Just a thought.