Mason, Ohio is just a typical Middle American town. Home to the Golf Center at Kings Island. Hell, Money magazine named it the 24th Best Place to Live in America, 2011. A fine place to raise a family. Or so we thought. Because even Mason, Ohio has found its public schoolhouses infested with what you've always feared: marijuana.
Marijuana, or "cheese" in street slang, is a drug derived from the cannabis plant, which users (or "esquires") smoke or eat out of a hollowed-out apple core in order to achieve a "fix." Police in Mason have arrested 17 year-old Tyler Pagenstecher—an "easygoing kid who liked skateboarding, riding bikes and hanging out," not someone you'd ever suspect of being mixed up in the reefer game. But Tyler had a little secret, allegedly: he was selling $20K worth of marijuana per month to his classmates.
"Anyone he was friends with knew," [a friend] said. "He never came out and said, 'I sell drugs' but he would say things where you know what he was talking about it. He'd be like, 'I don't have a real job. I don't need one. I have plenty of money.' Then he'd wink and you would know."
The meaning of that wink, according to police: "I sell marijuana," in street slang. Snitches in Mason who spoke to the AP say that Tyler's special, shall we say... product seemed to attract a lot of takers—even among teenagers.
"Any party you go to, you walk in and you're handed a beer and offered to hit a joint," she said. "It's everywhere - football players, basketball players, straight-A students, cheerleaders."
School spirit—or the lingering effects of a marijuana "dope high," causing your pep squad to break out in giggles and claps? It seems that parents and administrators can no longer be sure. These days, even those you'd least suspect—teenagers, skateboarders, people at parties—could be "riding the money train" (street slang referring to money's green color, similar to a marijuana plant) to a temporary state of illegal incapacitation.
[AP. Photo of a single-serving "pot" of marijuana ready to be snorted: AP]