24 November 2008

THERE WILL BE WEED Monroe County, Indiana Circa 1985

Ah, the Dope Fire. That was fun. I was a stringer for three years for the AP while at IU in Bloomington. This event was about 1984 or 1985. Monroe County is just, or was, just a bunch of hills and sticks. I think most industry moved out of there in the 70’s and 80’s. RCA had a major Laserdisc and CD pressing plant there that went bust, but the University is about it. It’s always been a place for all sorts of unsavory types to blend in, and there has been a lot of crazy crime there over the years. Anyway, The Sheriff didn’t have a chopper in those days, and the DEA was corrupt at that point, so he sent up single engine planes to troll for dope. This occasion, they found A LOT of weed way back in the holler, and had County Jail inmates slashing and burning the stuff. I’ve wondered over the years if that mightn’t have been a directive directly from Nancy Reagan her ownself, as I knew some of them had to be serving some Simple Possession time. I am just speculating from memory about the laws of the time, and some specifics may be inaccurate. I think this was long before mandatory sentencing and definitely before Three Strikes. It was one of many interesting stories I have covered, and the only one while standing on a giant mound of smoke. I felt pretty good about my take.
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