From the Archives: 9 Tons of Pot (1974)

in Culture

By Rod De Remer

Regular newspaper readers probably remember that spectacular bust last year of a barge with nine tons of pot aboard. It was the first in a series of setbacks for major dealers.

So what happened to the poor bastards whose boats were loaded to the gunwhales with Jamaican and whose heads were loaded with lush green visions of profit?

A fews weeks ago, they were tried in the same courtroom where, a few weeks earlier, the Gainesville Eight had been acquited.

The Gainesville Eight were Vietnam Veterans Against The War who were charged by the federal government with conspiracy to commit violence at the Republican Convention in Miami.

But there was a clear contrast at this trial to that of the Gainesville Eight. There was little publicity and even less sympathy for the defendants.

The “Steinhatchee Seven” were just pot smugglers.

Maybe four or five years ago people could rally around pot as a politically unifying force. Certainly the nine tons the Steinatchee Seven were accused of trying to import would make an impressive rallying point. “Alright, everybody,” shouts the movement leader, “we’re gonna dance around this pile of pot and nobody, not the pigs, not our parents, nobody is gonna take it!” However, it has always been the ideal, the freedom to smoke pot (unfortunately not included by our shortsighted forefather in the Bill of Rights) and not the actual physical substance itself that has been defended. When a group of dudes are playing around with more than nine tons of the stuff they’re after the big cabbage — man, they’re in business. A high-risk, lucrative business to be sure. No, there weren’t many who rallied to the cause and shouted, “Free the Steinhatchee Seven.”

The Steinhatchee Seven are: Barry Korn, 23, David Strongosky, 23, …

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Author: High Times / High Times

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