Connect to share and comment

A guide to the dynamic economics, politics, and culture of the world's most populous region.

A Spongebob-tinged weed trial in Bali

Indonesian judges trying 14-year-old Australian with marijuana possession set up kiddie court
Bali marijuana 2011 11 01Enlarge
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. (SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

The trial of a 14-year-old Australian, allegedly caught with marijuana on Indonesia's touristed Bali island, is being held in a makeshift kiddie court.

According to the Jakarta Globe, Spongebob Squarepants curtains were hung around the courtroom and judges swapped their intimidating black robes for traditional batik shirts -- all to demonstrate the justice system's concern for the teenager's "psychological condition."

The 14-year-old, named Lewis Mason, claims he bought 3.6 grams from a hungry dealer complaining he needed the sale to buy food.

The Australian public has rushed to Mason's defense. Many fear for Mason's fate under Indonesia's harsh drug laws.

The teenager faces six years in prison. With adults.

By Western standards, that's an absurdly harsh sentence for 3.6 grams of pot. A quarter ounce, about the smallest amount you'll find for sale in the states, is not even twice that: 7 grams.

Also, a wee bit of advice for Indonesian judges: if a kid is hanging out in Bali and smoking chronic, he's probably over his Spongebob phase.