Lifestyle & Belief

Rumors clash over Bali weed trial payout


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.



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.