Andrea Sanderlin, the suburban New York mother who has drawn comparisons between her life and the plot of the television series "Weeds" since her arrest in late May, was released on bail yesterday and will await trial on federal drug charges. As ABC News announced, Sanderlin faces up to $10 million in fines and a possible 10 year prison sentence if convicted.
While Sanderlin's crimes are on par with many more nefarious druglords, she has received mostly positive attention from the general public as she has been continually equated with the character Nancy Price Botwin from the hit television show "Weeds," who also supported her plush suburban lifestyle using funds earned from the sell of marijuana. Possessing similarities to such a beloved character no doubt helps to soften the public's view of a possible drug dealer, but there is more to the phenomenon than mere pop-culture association. A simple twitter search for "Andrea Sanderlin" finds multiple marijuana advocacy groups reporting her release and several users offering supportive shout-outs, including calls to legalize the controversial drug:
— Amanda Dolly (@DollyCalifornia) July 2, 2013
The positive response to Sanderlin's release is reflective of her success as an entrepreneur more so than her criminal status. Few Americans can afford to drive a Mercedes and live in an immaculate mansion, but Sanderlin was able to do both while reportedly being officially unemployed for more than a decade. As the American Dream continues to decay at an alarming rate, stories like Sanderlin's, in which a seemingly normal individual takes their financial livelihood into their own hands, enflame the underdog mentality in every citizen. If she in fact committed the crimes she will answer for them in court, but that will unlikely prevent a portion of American society from looking at her as a kind of folk hero.