THERE are places in Trinidad where you can smoke weed and sip 12-year-old El Dorado rum on special occasions in good company. Or fully-taxed 18-year-old Johnnie Walker Platinum, if you prefer.
All in moderation, of course.
But those locations are reducing fast, just like the ones that supply the herb, because it's much easier to spot a marijuana field than a cocaine drop-off and far simpler to lock up John Doe for a joint than Mr Big for "cracking'' up a generation of sprangers.
Which was a pertinent point made in the Trinidad and Tobago/St Vincent edition of The Strain Hunters, a first-class documentary on growing marijuana in these islands. It's worth watching (on YouTube), if only to see Trinidad in a completely different light.
And to extend the point about the priorities of the T&T Police Service, it's less complicated to raid a brothel in San Fernando than a coke den in St James, so our cops seek to cover themselves in glory by performing the former task, taking away "a man's comfort'', as an old work colleague used to say.
So I suppose that's why the People's Partnership Government has to consider precepting soldiers to assist the police in fighting crime and we just have to hope that they lock up more murderers and cocaine lords than whores and weed smokers.
But it makes you wonder whether it will work, that soldiers can play some part in the battle and the perpetrators who commit "real'' crimes will be the source of their attention rather than the victimless ones that are so much less troublesome to apprehend.
When last did you see a prostitute turn a respectable youth into a cocaine addict, but yet still 75 of them occupied the attention of our finest crime-fighters, while Mr Big went about his business in comfort last weekend.
And you think soldiers can change that mindset?
But before you answer that question, you have to be aware of those in authority who are planning this grand attack on crime.
The same people who for almost three years have had to implement damage control almost every month, or just shrug it off by believing that those who voted for them are idiots, so they won't even satisfy us with a proper explanation for why they've done what they've done.
So an elite and bogus police unit was set up and no one knows who authorised it...yeah, right! And a disgraced cop is singing like a picoplat and nobody in the Cabinet knows what he's talking about.
"He didn't speak to me and I knew nothing about it,'' everyone in charge is saying. So who gave him the go-ahead to rent premises to set up shop and get some vehicles to drive around in.
But it should be pointed out that the "new'' Flying Squad's first order of business was razing an immobile marijuana plantation on the Northern Range, while another cocaine delivery evaded attention and Mr Big slunk into the shadows to count his ill-gotten gains.
Who among the police, soldiers and imaginary Flying Squad will be the ones to investigate the Minister whose son is under house arrest in Florida for allegedly being in possession of an abundance of US currency, which did not sit well with Uncle Sam?
But then some ministers—including one who has more skeletons in his closet than a pathology student—are above reproach in this current dispensation. And the same one who will ultimately call the shots when the police and soldiers get together in the fight against crime might be partial to who should be investigated and interrogated and locked up and incarcerated, or simply harassed, with no recourse to natural justice.
You see where we reach?
We have progressed from Reshmi, the very unqualified candidate for one of the top security jobs in the nation; to the dark and dirty proclamation of Section 34; to the "sanitised'' resurrection of a covert, murderous anti-crime unit, one that shot first then asked questions; to the current scandal of a minister's boy-child being the subject of a high-level investigation in the US by the IRS or the FBI, or is it both?
And amidst all these slip-ups and missteps, has anyone in the corridors of power explained any of them to our satisfaction, that put the doubt out of our mind that somebody, somewhere is taking us for a ride...that we're not all a bunch of nincompoops and we are very concerned by all these various shenanigans?
Yet the word from on high is this is all a figment of someone's vivid imagination and we should find better things to do than question those we elected to serve us, to ask them for logical replies to our queries.
Don't we have the right to know who gave the Flying Squad the go-ahead?
And what if we're not satisfied with the answers being given, that we've swallowed more than enough rubbish and find it hard to believe anything anyone—from the Prime Minister right down—in the ruling coalition has to say.
That they've suffered with foot in mouth disease for most of the last three years and left us ruing our choices of who should govern us, because those who went before them haven't brought anything new to the table and we're stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Anyway, for now we're restricted to what the general election of May 2010 has wrought and we can gleefully accept what they're telling us or we can demand a better explanation.
And the cow will jump over the moon before we get the right answer.