Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ice Cream for the Baltimore "Herbanite"

There's something nostalgic and wholesome about selling ice cream from an ice cream truck. There's something foul and unsavory about dealing marijuana that is stored in one's underwear. Unsurprisingly, these two business models have never been considered for overlap. Until now.

Most people would consider it despicable to try selling drugs to kids when they are buying ice cream. Yes, it may be an unreasonable upsell, but on the flipside it is undeniably innovative to sell ice cream to potheads with the munchies! Two birds, one stoned. Consider also the forethought: both products are mobile by nature. Transporting them in the same vehicle is efficient and cost-cutting.

It is easy to paint this man as a bad apple and, joking aside, his alleged actions were certainly justifiable for arrest. But wasn't he simply mimicking the same unethical opportunism that this country has rewarded in recent years? I wonder how a ghetto entrepreneur being brought to justice might differ if he were, say, a creditor (a) taking part in predatory lending, (b) making money betting against the home owner's capacity to repay their subprime loans, (c) foreclosing homes and/or (d) giving himself several million dollars in bonuses using government bailout money? Which would more likely get off scot-free? And which has caused the greater damage: a inner-city pot dealer or the corrupt perpetuant of the housing crisis/recession? Only one is in jail.

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