If you are a cop in Texas - OK, a cop anywhere in the world - when you pull over a tour bus and out pops a gnomish man with grayish-red hair and you smell pot smoke, you smile and nod, get an autograph and go on your way.
It's 2010, and we live in a world where Willie Nelson can still get arrested and charged with pot possession - in his home state, no less.
Friday morning, while Black Friday was a barreling down on your bank account and credit score, Nelson was getting arrested and charged with having six ounces of pot on his tour bus. Nelson was booked in Sierra Blanca just off I-10, paid a $2,500 bond and was released by U.S. Border Patrol agents.
Isn't weed basically legal in Austin now? What backwoods Barney Fife is out there aiming for a 77-year old international treasure in a hoodie sparking up watching The View on a tour bus in West Texas?
And just like that Teapot Party was born. If the Tea Party folks can wring their hands 24 hours a day, why can't the kindly potheads start their own party.
The party's platform is "Tax it, regulate it and legalize it." Its motto? "We lean a little to the left."
This is Nelson's first salvo in what will surely be a brand-new fight in the war against marijuana criminalization. As of late Monday, the Teapot Party had more than 14,500 Facebook supporters.
Rocks Off's William Michael Smith suggests one possible solution so that Willie - as well as the thousands of other Texans busted for pot who can't afford the quality of legal counsel he can - need never go through this again.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.