Willie Nelson's Pot Bust: A Milestone In Marijuana Policy?

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You gotta love a sumbitch like Willie Nelson who, unlike Bill "I-Never-Inhaled" Clinton, has always 'fessed up to using copious quantities of herb. Two days ago, in response to his pot bust last Friday at a Border Patrol checkpoint near Sierra Blanca (that's a Spanish geographical term for the middle of fucking nowhere), the Red Headed Stranger formed Willie Nelson's Teapot Party; as of this morning, 20,000 people have joined.

This leads Lonesome Onry and Mean to wonder if any of our politicians are paying attention to the will of the people. We'll bet Gov. Rick Perry's anus puckered up tighter than an unfracked shale formation when some aide walked up and whispered in his ear, "Willie Nelson's been busted for pot." Terrorists inside the Alamo couldn't have been a worse scenario for the Governor.

Will Willie's bust be the straw that finally breaks the camel's back regarding legalization? Wouldn't it be great if high-profile politicians like former president George W. Bush, Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison got together, called a press conference and said, "OK, enough is enough"?

Or, even better, looked into the camera and screamed "Free Willie Nelson! And while you're at it, bring us the head of that nincompoop agent who boarded Willie's bus."

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Of course, as much as W., Ken Doll and Kay Bailey probably want to deep in their secret party-animal inner recesses, their "family values" constituencies won't allow it; forget that these pols would gain new constituencies nearer to the middle ground of nonpartisan politics to which they are always paying lip service but doing nothing about.

Unfortunately, if these knee-jerk pols actually came out for Willie, their traditional constituencies that support W and Ken Doll are going to bring up all the old arguments against legalization. These are the people who think if pot is legalized - like alcohol and cigarettes already are - their children are going to start dancing and go straight to Hell.

And they'll bring up the tired old "gateway drug" argument, that pot leads to harder drugs. Well, in Marshall Chapman's new book They Came To Nashville, the final chapter is a detailed report of a four-day jaunt on Willie's tour bus. Apparently for Willie - who, let's remember, was not driving the bus or operating heavy equipment - marijuana is the gateway drug to... drum roll... white wine and Django Reinhardt jazz.

Politicians with balls would realize this bust is an opportunity to alter public policy in a constructive way to benefit all Texans. Want to reduce drug-related violence up and down the Texas border and across the Rio Grande in Juarez? One of the key strategic moves would be to legalize pot.

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