Lifestyle & Belief

Rumors clash over Bali weed trial payout

bali_marijuana_2011_11_01.jpg

Australian teenager Lewis Alan Mason (C) covers his face as he's escorted by guards on Bali island on November 1. 2011. Indonesian prosecutors said they will charge a 14-year-old Australian boy arrested on Bali island with drug offenses that carry a maximum penalty of six years in prison.

Credit:

SONNY TUMBELAKA

As sentencing day nears for Australia's best-known teen weed enthusiast, a 14-year-old facing years in Indonesian prison for a few grams, the Aussie media is scrambling to lock the kid into an interview.

One of Australia's largest news syndicates, the Nine Network, is accused of hammering out a roughly $300,000 USD for dibs on the teen's tell-all. 

But that claim is bogus, according to the network.

Just why is Australia so fixated on this case?

I suspect it's the narrative of a kid next door who made a simple mistake (scoring pot from a street dealer in Bali) and may pay too heavy a price: youth wasted in prison in an unfamiliar land.

The "Australian caught with drugs in tropical Bali" is a recurring media narrative -- one made all the more riveting because of Indonesia's death penalty laws -- but this kid's youth and piddly stash (3.6 grams) has only heightened interest.

Various media reports suggest the teen might go free. If he's not, well, $300,000 can go a long way in Indonesian prison, where guards and wardens are known to let inmates slip out on holidays for the right price.