Contributing Editor Jeff A. Taylor points to levels upon levels of footard behavior in the arrest of songster, tax protester, Carter-era White House guest, Reason Hero of Freedom, and a national treasure on par with the Grand Canyon Willie Nelson. From the John Locke Foundation's Carolina Journal blog:
All kinds of wrong here.
First, understand that the Border Patrol runs its own TSA-like operations across the Southwest — throwing up "checkpoints" across federal interstates to harass US citizens because it is easier than patrolling the actual border. It was at one such papers-please interrogation site on I-10 in Sierra Blanca, TX that Willie Nelson's tour bus rolled up on Friday.
A wily and courageous Border Patrol agent smelled pot — gasp! — and arrested Nelson. Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West via the El Paso Times:
"It's kind of surprising, but I mean we treat him like anybody else," West said.
"He could get 180 days in county jail, which if he does, I'm going to make him cook and clean," West said. "He can wear the stripy uniforms just like the other ones do."
A court date has yet to be set.
The Border Patrol checkpoint along Interstate 10 at Sierra Blanca averages 10 to 15 drug-related arrests a day West said, and he expects several more arrests during the weekend as holiday travelers pack the road.
Uh, sheriff — no it is not surprising. It is Willie Nelson. Perhaps one of the best known pot smokers on the planet. And why oh why is the Border Patrol making 70 to 100 "drug-related arrests" a week at a single US interstate barricade? That is not its job.
Just like it was not the TSA's damn job to accuse Charlotte banker Kathy Parker of money laundering and/or leaving her husband just because an invasive TSA search turned up checks the TSA deemed suspicious. But without mission creep — without the federales unilaterally moving to expand the scope of their jurisdictions to all manner of possible criminal conduct — we might have actual accountability and responsibility among our various federal police overlords. And we can't have that.
Better just book Willie Nelson and declare victory.