Today John Lennon appeared in court to enter a plea in response to the drug possession charges leveled against him last month. Accepting full responsibility for the cannabis found in the flat — which let Yoko, who was still convalescing from her miscarriage, off the hook — he pled guilty and received a fine, along with a warning that if he did it again he would go to jail. Reflecting later, he said,

It was better when it happened. It [had been] been building up for years – thinking something would happen. Now, the fear has gone a bit. Now you know what it’s like, it’s a bit different. And it’s not too bad; a £150 fine.

Reminds me of the old Steve Martin line: “I wouldn’t smoke marijuana in California now. You could get a ticket for that.”

Nowadays, of course, widespread legalization has changed the landscape even further. According to a recent NY Times article, some drug-sniffing dogs are now being retired because they weren’t trained to distinguish between cannabis and other, still-illegal substances. There’s a good song in there somewhere; a bluesy number about an old dog who’s obsolete because he can’t tell one drug from the other. If only John were around to write it.

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