Now that marijuana legalization is creeping more toward the edge of mainstream society, giving way to the rise of a wickedly, insane, multi-billion-dollar cannabis market where legal pot products can be purchased similarly to how we’ve been doing for decades with beer, the advocacy community has grown soft. It seems now that 11 states have legalized the leaf for adults 21 and over, most people all of a sudden forgotten that the cannabis plant is still mostly illegal in the United States, leading to hundreds of thousands of people being arrested for it every year and jamming them up in the court system. There is a tendency to forget that the federal government of 2020 still considers the plant an outlaw substance — just as dangerous as hard, death drugs like heroin — which prevents many states from jumping on the side of common sense in ending the prohibition of a substance that is considered medicine to some and freedom to others. But every once in a while, someone stands up and reminds us that if anything is going to change in this rotten world, sometimes it is necessary to put up your dukes and take a swing.
Or… a toke.
Earlier this week, a 20-year-old Tennessee man by the name of Spencer Boston did what most cannabis advocates would be too scared to do when standing before a judge on a charge for small-time marijuana possession. Rather than take it quietly on the chin, as so many other pot offenders have done at the mercy of the courts, this rowdy dude pulled out a joint and fired it up right there before God and everyone. Boston, who began his old school approach to protest, preaching before a small courtroom about how broken the pot laws continue to be in the United States, just reached inside his jacket, pulled out a hooter, and fired it up in front of the judge without hesitation.
It was a wild scene that cannot be denied. A fitting tribute, if you will, to the nation’s foretokers, reminiscent of times in black and white when the whole pro-legalization spiel was spearheaded by poets and outlaws hellbent on stopping Uncle Sam’s reign of terror against high society. It was a flashback to when supporting legal weed, a mission that would have never been embraced 20 years ago by the suit-wearing entrepreneurial types of the now, meant having to shake the foundation of safe and rattle the very cages in which the system used to keep blacks, hippies and other fashionable rebels of the cause down and out. It’s because of actions like Boston’s, in fact, that the marijuana movement has come as far as it has in the past four decades. Stone cold rebellion used to be the only way to get through to the man, remember that?
But just how many puffs did this high time hero get in before getting busted? Well, it must have been some stinky-ass bud. A video of the event shows Boston taking only a couple of quick hits before an extremely surprised bailiff runs over and slaps the cuffs on him. Yet, in the true spirit of loud-mouthed protest, Boston continued to give the proverbial middle finger to the very system wanting to incarcerate him for weed and drag him into the depths of downtrodden. In the video, he can be heard screaming, “the people deserve better,” as he was escorted from the courtroom.
As CNN reported, “Spencer Boston had a message,” but precisely what was the point he was trying to convey?
Well, it was obviously a stab at the state of Tennessee for its refusal to allow residents to have marijuana for medicinal use. Although several pot-related bills have been filed in the State Legislature over the years, many lawmakers aren’t willing to give the issue the consideration it needs in this day and age. Instead, it has completely disregarded the progress of the times. What’s worse is the state has continued to employ hammer-fisted law enforcement tactics when it comes to weed, whereby anyone busted for under a half-ounce can be sentenced to up to a year in jail and pay hundreds of dollars in mandatory fines. And unfortunately, jail time could end up being the fate of a young Boston, who is scheduled to appear in court again in April for the possession offense. Right now, however, he is serving 10 days in the county slammer for contempt. Apparently, judges are not at all too keen on people smoking weed in a court of law.
Yet, Boston’s stoned sacrifice will not go down in vain. Not a chance. Many national, mainstream media outlets are starting to pick up on this courthouse toker, putting some heat on Tennessee lawmakers and their dim-whited ways. If there is perhaps one main takeaway from Boston’s story, it’s that the fight for legalization, even after all of these years, is still far from over. So smoke em’ if you’ve got em — especially if you get a chance to do it in front of a judge.
We should still be raising hell.
TELL US, do you have the guts to smoke marijuana in front of a judge?