NASHVILLE, TN – As the topic of marijuana continues to make national headlines with the issues regarding the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana, Jonathan, an international student from the Netherlands, prepared himself for America’s strict drug policy. In an exclusive interview with The Slant, Jonathan revealed that he was pretty used to openly using marijuana in public in accordance with the laws of his hometown Amsterdam. “As an international student, I’m also a little wary of running into any issues with law enforcement because they would like simply revoke my student visa,” said Jonathan. “I didn’t plan on smoking weed at Vanderbilt and actually started to gradually decrease my use the summer before move in.”
Once Jonathan arrived in Nashville and navigated his way through the Vanderbilt social scene, he was shocked to find that marijuana is “basically legal”. “Like in the news you’ll hear all about this ‘war on drugs’ and stuff, but honestly I feel that the United States has technically already legalized marijuana use for a portion of the population – the rich and privileged,” said Jonathan. “Most people I know on campus and out in Nashville in general, that are pretty wealthy, use drugs with impunity, in my opinion, sometimes even more than people do back home.” The Slant informed him that marijuana was in fact only legalized for recreational use in some states and that Nashville even decriminalized small amounts of pot. However, Jonathan also pointed out that it is decided on a “case-by-case basis”, meaning officers could still arrest individuals for marijuana possession. “The fact that cops can still arrest someone for weed means that, in my opinion, it’s basically against the law”, said Jonathan. “This is pretty interesting – like a lot of my peers tout America’s justice system and ‘freedom for all’ and stuff, but I was surprised when they straight up denied their lack of freedom under the law,” said Jonathan.
His roommate Alex, a freshman at Vanderbilt whose father “makes only a couple mill annually in banking,” was visibly upset at Jonathan’s utter mischaracterization of the American judicial system in regards to drugs. “Ok, I’m not saying, like, I couldn’t pay for a good lawyer and pay my way out of trouble since I’m rich, but I’m definitely oppressed here as a user of marijuana,” said Alex. “I got an entire slap on the wrist when VUPD found me with a joint — like, I usually got a tap on the wrist back home, so the fact that they gave me an entire slap is totally outrageous,” said Alex. “Daddy said he would talk to administration about this misunderstanding. I’m sure they will sort this mess out.”
Jonathan has since obtained more evidence regarding the different American judicial systems between the rich and poor. He has since recommended that the University offer different courses to adequately educate Vanderbilt students on the two different sets of laws that exist in the United States. Administration declined to comment on such a measure. When The Slant informed him about the Administration’s lack of response, Jonathan came to the larger realization that the “majority of laws [in America] only actually apply to poor people.”