I’m sure we’ll all feel much safer knowing a harmless 77-year-old man could go to jail for possession of six ounces of marijuana. Meanwhile, how many truly heinous criminals are bounced in and out of the system after committing unspeakable acts? I realize some will argue that the law is the law, and even somebody as famous as Nelson shouldn’t stand above it, but when I read these kinds of reports it reminds me over and again that possession of cannabis should not be lumped in with acts that stand to do a great deal of harm to everyone involved.
I still find it baffling that a 21-year-old can easily walk into a liquor store and purchase several bottles of alcohol with seemingly no consequence. Of course, alcohol is not illegal – we tried that once, and we know what happened – but put the booze down his throat, then his body behind the wheel of a car and we have a deadly weapon. Yet again, one could argue…well, couldn’t that happen with somebody who smokes a lot pot and drives?
It may, and it may not. But why is one legal and the other not? Why is a beverage capable of altering a person’s mood for the worse okay to purchase in polite society while the bud of a plant – a plant! – is looked upon with fear and abhorred? Why is it that some people are reluctant to consider legalization of an herb that – while it offers mind altering qualities – has been known to assist the ill and infirm and offers amazing economic potential? I don’t consider myself anti-alcohol – I do like a glass of wine on occasion – but I find it amusing that a product proven to destroy brain cells is perfectly fine and acceptable…until somebody has too much of it and gets into a fight, or picks a fight, or crashes a car into a tree. Then we are left shaking our heads and wondering what could have been done to prevent such needless tragedies.
What of people like Willie Nelson? This arrest notwithstanding, how has his fondness for weed harmed society? He established Farm Aid, which has raised money for US farmers and their families over the last 25 years, has campaigned against cruelty of animals and performs often for various charity concerts.
What about that trouble with the IRS? I say, how is it related to weed? People who don’t smoke marijuana have suffered the same woes.
Somebody suggested to me today that Willie may willingly go to jail in order to make a point. A noble gesture for the marijuana movement, but perhaps it is one that can be achieved in spirit. A man of Nelson’s advanced age, his active lifestyle notwithstanding, suffers a great risk going to prison. Believe me, in order to fight the good fight, we need the good guys healthy, and free.