Out of the mists of confusion and panic that have roiled 2020 heretofore, a hero emerges. Instead of ducking his head, standing up straight, and expressing remorse for his weed during his Tennessee case for small time marijuana possession, one man decided to protest the powers that be, and blazed one for all the court to enjoy.
Defendant Spencer Boston must have really considered how best to convince Judge Haywood Barry that drug prohibition has got to go. The 20 year old had the floor during his trial in Wilson County on Monday, and was expounding on the injustice of banning US residents from consuming cannabis when he gave the legal assemblage a literal whiff of what he was talking about.
Boston removed a joint and a box of matches from his pocket. One can only imagine the courtroom’s reaction when he went ahead and lit the contraband.
Whatever other impression it may have made on Judge Haywood, it may not immediately help Boston retain his liberty. He was abruptly hustled out of the court by security.
Not without saying his final words on the matter, though. As Boston was trundled out, he swiveled around and delivered his conclusion.
“The people deserve better!” he said.
Will Prohibition Ever Be Lifted?
There’s a chance that Boston’s actions may have taken place in the waning days of cannabis prohibition in Tennessee. State Sen. Raumesh Akbari filed a bill this week that would regulate recreational marijuana in the state.
“With marijuana now available closer and closer to our state, it’s time for Tennesseans to have a real discussion about repealing outdated penalties for low-level possession and investing in our economic future and public schools through legalization,” Akbari told the press.
Another site of movement in the state legislature is on medical marijuana, which polls suggest has the support of some 81 percent of Tennessee’s population. State Senator Janice Bowling, a Republican, has doggedly reintroduced the same medical cannabis legislation that failed to gain traction last year. Bowling has suggested that medical marijuana could be an antidote for the opioid crisis that claims the lives of Tennessee residents at much higher rates than the rest of the country.
Even as plans have repeatedly stalled on cannabis legalization of any stripe, the state has taken some steps towards decriminalization. Last year the state’s Bureau of Investigation announced that it would no longer be testing cannabis associated with possession cases of under a half-ounce. Since Tennessee has legalized hemp, testing cannabis is the only way to determine if a person carrying the plant has committed a crime.
As lawmakers hem and haw, Boston, like many all-too-real activists, is paying a price for his outspoken advocacy. The county sheriff office relays that he was sentenced to 10 days in jail for contempt of court — his bond set at $3,000 after he serves that time — on top of the disorderly conduct and marijuana possession that had landed him in trouble in the first place.
Surely, history books will say his too-short session was worth it. Spencer Boston, High Times magazine salutes you.