Readers continue the thread:
I knew the War On Weed was doomed two years ago when I attended a Hank Williams Jr. concert in red-state Oklahoma. In between lusty cheers every time Hank talked smack about Obama, the rednecks all around me created a virtual haze of marijuana smoke. I’ve been to more than 100 concerts, from Nine Inch Nails to Robert Plant to Merle Haggard. But never have I seen more pot use than at a Hank Jr. show. If obvious conservatives like those in the Sooner State are flouting pot laws, then you know legalization is not far away.
Another isn’t optimistic:
I wouldn’t get too far ahead of yourself. As a lifelong Alabamian, people here love to preach one way and do another. Most of the people I know smoke/have smoked pot, but they would never admit it. This is the same culture that gets trashed on a Saturday and then shows up to church on Sunday to pretend it never happened. It’s the same culture that rails against the federal government taking their hard-earned taxes but gladly takes more than its fair share of federal revenues. It’s the same culture that gave rise to Strom Thurmond, who railed against black rights but made sure to father a child with a black person on the side. Being hypocritical is ingrained in Southern culture.
Another Southerner agrees:
I was born, raised, and still live in a blood-red area of the South. But pot crosses all boundaries. I’ve smoked pot with liberals, staunch Republicans, hippies, factory workers, lawyers, bankers – you name it. Even though I don’t smoke anymore, in 15 minutes I could make two phone calls and get as much weed as I want. (A quarter of Mexican will run you between $30-$35 … $40 if things are dry. If you want some Kind Bud or something exotic, that’s gonna run you about $20 a gram – which is ridiculous, but I digress.)
One thing about pot in the South is that you don’t talk about it. It’s at both times everywhere and nowhere. It’s all winks and nods and visual cues and “let’s walk down to the woods” or “let’s go sit in the car.”
The odd thing is, I’m not sure many of these closet smokers want it to be legal, especially among the upper-class smokers. It’s almost like they are cool to smoke with their lessers, but if it is legal, they are equal. And God forbid a lawyer meets one of his clients in a weed store.
It reminds me of a joke a Methodist minister told me once: What’s the difference between a Methodist and a Baptist? A Methodist will speak to you if he runs into you at the liquor store.