The most charming moment, for me anyway, occurred on Thursday morning when I was fixing to go to breakfast with Velvet while his father worked on the printer. Velvet was packing up his backpack for the day and included the metal Sponge Bob lunch box in which he stores his paraphernalia. I simply watched him do it and once we were sitting down to a nutritious breakfast from the Dunkin Doughnuts in the food court at the student building next to his dorm, I asked him why he thought it was a good idea to bring all his paraphernalia with him.
He was concerned that if he left the Sponge Bob lunch box in his room, the maid might find it. Apparently someone at the orientation session said housekeeping came in daily to clean the communal bathroom, and Velvet interpreted that to mean the maids would be in every day to make his bed, vacuum and dust.
I'm proud to say that I did not laugh. I merely explained that the police frown on Sponge Bob lunch boxes packed with weed residue, papers, pipes, screens and Bic lighters. Most likely, if he didn't get arrested on multiple charges, the police would confiscate his supplies and he'd have to buy all new pipes. Velvet acknowledged that made sense and left his lunch box in the car when I gave him and the female he befriended the previous night a ride over to their orientation seminar about a mile away.
Some police officers were directing traffic as we approached the main campus because it was also Freshman Orientation at The Big, Beautiful Private school next door that shares all its services with Tree Hugger U - dorms, dining halls, gymnasiums, student unions, inter murals, clubs, libraries -- all that stuff. It's a great system because the Tree Huggers get all these fancy accouterments and we pay state tuition. Hallelujah.
Anyway, I was explaining to Velvet that Window the Libertarian Pot Head - one of my best buddies back in Austin who was a pizza delivery man well into his forties since that's what happens to Major Pot Heads - always says that the law and police exist to serve us. We don't serve the Law or Police, but we should be polite. Sadly, about thirty seconds later, one of the traffic cops waved me through without answering my question and I accidental shouted "Asshole!" out the window. Then I had to explain that it's generally a bad idea to call police officers assholes when there's weed paraphernalia in the car even when you're a fifty year old white woman. Police rarely stop and search the cars of fifty year old white women, but I didn't mean to holler at the cops.
Velvet's new friend Genevieve found this whole scene highly entertaining, calling me "way hardcore." I was a bit flattered since I normally get called a dumb ass. Fortunately, when we arrived at the next entrance to campus there was a friendly clerk in the booth to give us directions to our destination, and the students were on time for their seminar.
I then went back to collect Buzz Kill from the food court so that we could go shopping for a printer stand with drawers where Velvet could safely store his Sponge Box lunch box away from the prying eyes of any random maids that might wander into his room. As it happens, the college administration and the police both told the students at a Health & Wellness orientation that it is illegal to smoke anything inside the dorms because they are public buildings. And it's illegal to smoke weed, as everyone knows. However, they are seriously concerned about student drinking on account of alcohol poisoning and general alcohol related stupidity that leads to injury and/or death. It's my understanding that Zero Tolerance applies to drinking and to getting arrested in a way that tarnishes the reputation of Tree Hugger U in the press. Kids can get busted for smoking weed in Florida, for example, and it's no big deal unless the words Tree Hugger University wind up in any paper anywhere. Tree Hugger U has Zero Tolerance for Bad Publicity. Works for me.
As it happens, this policy is exactly the one I instituted in our home some right before Velvet started his junior year of high school. Velvet had been hanging out with friends from the Hippy Dippy Quaker Camp in Washington Square Park and came home with the news that his buddy Circle Seeker, aka Dime Bag, got him high. I told him then, and evidently Tree Hugger U just told him now: If you're as smart as you think you are, you can maintain your grades and smoke weed without getting caught.
The federal government needs to stop wasting money on a drug war and end this prohibition on weed. This prohibition all came about not because of legislating morality but because the cotton growers and other producers of major cash crops did not want any competition from Hemp. That's where we got the slogan, "It's rope not dope."
I don't know what to think about taxing weed, like they are suggesting to help with the budget in California. Many well informed, public spirited individuals at the Marijuana Policy Project can speak eloquently on that topic. I just don't want my kid to get arrested and lose his financial aid - which reminds me that I don't think Velvet ever registered for the Selective Service. Male children are required to register for the Selective Service in order to receive federal student financial aid. And there was a booth for the Air Force ROTC on the lovely campus of the Big, Beautiful Private School. Interestingly, the Military were not in evidence at Tree Hugger U.
For the record, I absolutely support the US Military in every variety - but I'm absolutely opposed to my kid getting shot at to protect American Corporate Interests. Life is filled with nuances like that.