Monday May 20, 2013
Busting Willie Nelson for Weed Bolsters Cannabis MovementBonnie King Salem-News.com
You can't keep a good man down, especially when he is supported by tens of millions of average Americans.
(SALEM, Ore.) - If he wasn’t a freedom fighter, a warrior, a martyr before, Willie Nelson certainly is now. Posing absolutely no threat to society, those that arrested Willie Nelson have created the perfect cannabis poster boy- and that’s what people are talking about around kitchen tables and in living rooms all over the world.
“Why are they picking on Willie?” even the most conservative people are asking.
After decades of being a vocal advocate of cannabis re-legalization and a current advisory board member for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Willie Nelson’s stance on the subject is widely known. And so is the reputation of his bus, the Honeysuckle Rose III.
His tour bus would be considered “low hanging fruit” for the robo-cops looking to make their quota for non-risk busts. The subject of talk show monologues and song lyrics to beat the band, Willie and cannabis and his bus go hand in hand. That anyone would profess to not know Nelson’s position on pot simply means they are horribly ignorant, or lying.
Friday at 9:00 a.m., Willie Nelson’s tour bus came to a border control checkpoint, in Sierra Blanca, Texas, 30 miles from the Mexico border.
“Well, we were going through a checkpoint and for some reason they singled us out and pulled us over. And they found a little weed on the bus and that’s all they needed,” he told Rick Cusick of High Times.
A border patrol officer allegedly smelled what he believed to be marijuana smoke through the bus’s open door, giving them the green light to enter the singer’s home on wheels and discovered six ounces of marijuana.
Nelson and two others were arrested. Willie Nelson said the pot belonged to him and was taken to Hudspeth County jail. He was briefly held on a $2,500 bond before being released.
Although Nelson posted bail, the Sheriff says he may return for a longer stay behind bars, and a criminal defense attorney told TMZ that he could spend up to six months in the clink. The Sheriff used the arrest to fantasize about how he might punish the 77-year old musician.
"He could get 180 days in county jail," said Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West. "If he does, I'm going to make him cook and clean."
When Willie spoke to HighTimes.com, he told Rick Cusick that jail time was unlikely.
“I don’t think so,” Nelson answered. “It’s Class – What is it called? Class A misdemeanor is what I think they called it.”
He turned over everything to his attorney to follow through with the courts at this time.
Kinky Friedman, Texas personality, said he believes agents overstepped their bounds. "The real crime here is that it occurred in a county that is one of the headquarters of the Zetas," he says, referring to the Mexican criminal drug cartel. "These guys don't have bigger fish to fry? The Zetas are taking over their county and they're busting Willie Nelson. That shows a real lack of priorities."
However, Nelson’s history with the law may work against him, and even a small amount of jail time is probable.
It’s well known that this wasn't Willie Nelson’s first drug arrest. In 2006, Nelson was arrested in Louisiana with one-and-a-half pounds of marijuana and three ounces of magic mushrooms for which he was sentenced to six months’ probation.
"Both bus drivers were over 50 years old," Nelson said at the time. "The other guys were 60 years old. My sister is 75, I'm 73, so it's like they busted an old folks' home."
Nine years earlier, in 1995, he was arrested in Waco, Texas after police spotted half a joint in his car's ash tray.
And in January, 2010, six members of Nelson's band were charged with possession of moonshine and marijuana in North Carolina.
The day after Thanksgiving, 2010, Willie Nelson was on the final leg of his journey home to his ranch near Austin, Texas traveling from California- the first of 15 U.S. states that have legal medicinal marijuana. Perhaps the weed was just left on the bus accidentally, as LA attorney Bruce Margolin mentioned could have happened, and considering harvest time just passed, it was probably even California-grown. The weed never meant to go to Texas. Could be.
In all seriousness, Willie Nelson has been more than a singer to many Americans for a very long time.
Most remember and appreciate the effort and vision of Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp back in 1985, when they organized the first Farm Aid concert to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on their land. Since then, Farm Aid has raised more than $37 million to help keep family farms alive and strong.
It has been suggested that Willie be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on sustainable agriculture, alternative fuels, and world peace initiatives.
And he may well be. His name is definitely being batted around in some enlightened circles. And people love Willie.
Two days after he was arrested, Willie Nelson made a joke via a statement to CelebStoner.com, and called on the United States to start a new political party based on the legalization of marijuana. What began lightheartedly soon became a serious idea.
"There's the Tea Party," Nelson wrote. "How about the Teapot Party? Our motto: We lean a little to the left... Tax it, regulate it and legalize it."
“It”, of course, is cannabis- better known in the United States as marijuana.
The inspiration took off, and a Facebook page for the Teapot Party was quickly created. At presstime, the page had already attracted 32,420 followers.
"Stop the border wars over drugs," Nelson wrote. "Why should the drug lords make all the money? Thousands of lives will be saved."
"It's a matter of time," he said in 2008, "a matter of education, a matter of people finding out what cannabis, marijuana is for, why it grows out of the ground and why it's prescribed as one of the greatest stress medicines on the planet."
Hudspeth County police released a copy of Nelson's detention report which details that he was “sober and unarmed” at the time of his arrest and that he went “willingly”, and also a mugshot that shows one tired music maker.
It was a trying day. Even so, Mickey Raphael, Nelson's longtime harmonica player, told Rolling Stone that Willie Nelson is in good spirits.
"He said he feels great — he lost six ounces."
A great attitude comes along with the tour, it appears. It remains to be seen if a few ounces will be all Willie Nelson loses in this ongoing battle for freedom from prohibition. His court date has not yet been set.
Articles for December 1, 2010 | Articles for December 2, 2010 | Articles for December 3, 2010
|Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | Copyright © 2013 Salem-News.com | news tips & press releases: email@example.com.|