What the f*ck just happened?
Before most students even got up to wake-and-bake before last Tuesday's class, a large chunk of our herbal street pharmacists were raided, arrested, and put in jail. The events surrounding the ‘Drug Raids of ’13’ sent shockwaves throughout the community: 61 University of Alabama students arrested for mostly marijuana-related sale, possession, and paraphernalia charges. About two dozen pinched on campus in the residence halls, with police using information from "confidential informants making buys at different areas on campus." For once, people in Alabama actually stopped talking about football and started asking questions.
First of all, I’d like to shout out to the 74 people arrested Tuesday, what you did was illegal in this state, you knew that, but then again, it still sucks. Your services will be deeply missed. Anyways,
This all started for me on Monday afternoon, when some of my classmates in front of me were talking about how one of them frequents the police station and heard of DEA agents and U.S. Marshals coming into T-Town. So I did what every logical paranoid stoner does and started locking my front door, spraying Febreeze, and burning candles (I’m so sneaky). Tuesday morning rolls around and I pick myself up off the bathroom ﬂoor from the nights previous events and tweet out, “Be careful out there this week. Heard some rumors of increased DEA and TPD [Tuscaloosa Police Department] activity. #PleadTheFizzith”, and after that, the stories started rolling in. This guy got popped, my friends guy got popped, so on and so forth, until all chaos broke loose in the Tuscaloosa stoner community. I hate to make this comparison, but I haven’t seen people this panicked or scared since the tornado that tragically came through the City of Champions. Rumors began swirling on Twitter and Snapchat that police arrested 1000 people, but once the dust settled, it was looking more like around 100.
I immediately grabbed my piece and grinder and locked myself in my room, full paranoia setting in. Not because I was scared of being busted, I’m no dealer, but I felt scared for everyone else. 12:30 PM rolls by and the names start getting released, the dust has settled, and it turns out that 61 students have been arrested, around half of them were busted on campus, for a total of 74 total arrests.
These arrests came at a surprise to everyone here at the Capstone. For the most part, the weed culture here at Bama isn’t huge. The most common kind of tokers are those that just smoke before going out, or something to chill with. There are no headshops besides the small tobacco shops that sell small bongs and bowls and it’s rare to see people with really nice bongs such as Illadelphs, Blue Dots, or Sovereignties. Tuscaloosa is far from the “Boulder of the South”, but don’t get me wrong, we have our fair share of pot heads like me. The out-of-state students are close to making up the majority of the student body here, and with this inﬂux of kids comes more and more pot smokers that aren’t raised in the traditional, conservative Deep South ways. No pun intended, but whiskey and football are a much higher priority here. So that being said, the force at which the cops handled these arrests puzzles me. Ofﬁcers with assault riﬂes, drawn pistols, and swat gear rushed into dorms and off-campus housing to arrest, for the most part, a bunch of skinny white kids. I mean have you seen some of the non-threatening dudes rolling joints at a Bassnectar show? Yeah, those guys.
Being UAStonerProblems gives me an anonymity, I get an interesting look into the thoughts and opinions of my fellow classmates. Most students are left pondering why the police went to such lengths to bring down a bunch of college students that sell a little bit of marijuana. We understand that there were rare circumstances that cops found ecstasy, LSD, shrooms, and three guns, but for being such a large scale operation, really they just found a bunch of weed in a college town. SHOCKER. As I see it, it looks like this is a case of an underfunded police department that was just audited by the FBI in need of some good community PR and funds. So they busted a bunch of college kids because that is way easier than busting up a bunch of trap houses in Birmingham. It’s kind of reminiscent of “Super Trooper," when the highway patrol was about to be shut down and then they made a huge drug bust. I’m also not completely arrogant about the situation: I do not blame the cops in anyway for doing their jobs and the ﬁrst thing I learned when I came to Alabama is that traditions and the way of life here don’t change. It doesn’t matter if pot is legal in two states, medically cleared in around 16 other. This is ALABAMA: we rage with Evan Williams, Jack Daniels, and Jim Beam, win National Championships, and repeat. If I went to college just so I could smoke pot, I would of stayed home or gone to Boulder. But I feel like I can speak on behalf of all my fellow classmates at the University of Alabama, we will move past this unprecedented raid against having fun, and we will be better for it. Hopefully I won’t be writing “I didn’t survive the Alabama Drug Raids of 2014” next year from a jail cell. But as long as we are three time defending National Champions, I’m ﬁne with whatever happens. That's what's more important down here.
Alabama, if we aren’t poisoning your trees, we are smoking them.
Roll Damn Tide,