Case law funked out with a wanksta twist.
What is “indo weed”?
Decision and Order on Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, Jerold Ellis III v. Garrick Husbands , 668 Tr. Ct. 72 (2001).
The issue is, what is indo weed? Plaintiff says “indo weed” means Indonesian Aceh weed. Defendant says “indo weed” means any strain of marijuana that is grown indoors. Urban Dictionary gives both meanings, as well as some others not relevant here.
To support his meaning, the plaintiff sends a number of volleys over the net; the defendant essays to return them and adds a few serves of his own. Assuming that both parties were acting in good faith, the case nicely illustrates Holmes’ remark “that the making of a contract depends not on the agreement of two minds in one intention, but on the agreement of two sets of external signs—not on the parties having meant the same thing but on their having said the same thing.”
I have concluded that the plaintiff has not sustained his burden of persuasion that the contract used “indo weed” in the narrower sense.
The action is for breach of the warranty that goods sold shall correspond to the description in the contract.
The contract was formed when Jerold “Yukmouth” Ellis III and Garrick “Numskull” Husbands were in Numskull’s two door Cutlass sharing a cigarette that consisted of the last of their cumulative stashes of marijuana, while also each imbibing a 40 ounce bottle of malt liquor.
Yukmouth wanted to continue getting keyed, but felt rather short on cash. Knowing that Numskull’s marijuana dealer lived nearby, Yukmouth proposed that they each contribute $5.00 to purchase a “dime bag” sack of marijuana.
Specifically, Yukmouth proposed: “I got five on it. Messing with that indo weed. I got five on it. Partner, lets go half on a sack.” Numskull agreed, stating “I take sacks to the face whenever I can. I wish I could fade the eighth, but I’m low budget.”
Numskull drove to his dealer’s apartment and before he got out of the car, he slapped the dashboard and exclaimed “Foggy windows, soggy indo!” 1
He left for approximately ten minutes and returned with a bag of marijuana, which he had purchased for $10.00. Yukmouth and Numskull proceeded to roll the marijuana into a cigarette and lit up. When Yukmouth inhaled, he expressed displeasure with the quality of the marijuana, finding it to be hydroponically grown “bammer weed.” Protests and this lawsuit ensued.
Yukmouth is suing Numskull for the return of his $5.00. Neither party raises intoxication as a defense to formation of the contract.
Text of Contract
Since the phrase “indo weed” standing alone is ambiguous, I turn first to see whether the contract itself offers any aid to its interpretation.
Yukmouth says that even though the parties were on a limited budget, they had both discussed that they wanted to continue smoking “soggy indo.” Yukmouth argues that “soggy” indicates a high quality weed with a lot of resin and that Indonesian Aceh weed is a high quality, sativa strain of marijuana.
Numskull states that the contract for “indo weed” necessarily had to be for weed of low quality because a dime bag of expensive, imported Indonesian weed would have been of too small of an amount for two people to share.
This argument is unpersuasive – a sack of indeterminate size can be filled with “soggy” weed of different species and quality.
Yukmouth further argues that there was a definite trade usage that “indo weed” meant “Indonesian weed.”
Yukmouth alleged that both of the parties are rappers by trade. The Defendant Numskull, however, showed that he and the plaintiff’s rap group, The Luniz, only had one song that really got any airplay; thereby bringing himself within the principle that when one of the parties is not a member of the trade or other circle, his acceptance of the standard must be made to appear by proving either that he had actual knowledge of the usage or that the usage is so generally known in the community that his actual individual knowledge of it may be inferred.
Here there was no proof of actual knowledge of the alleged usage; indeed, it is quite plain that Numskull’s belief was to the contrary. In order to meet the alternative requirement, the law demands a showing that the usage is of so long continuance, so well established, so notorious, so universal and so reasonable in itself, as that the presumption is violent that the parties contracted with reference to it, and that made it a part of their agreement.
Yukmouth endeavored to establish such a usage by introducing the lyrics of two rappers. First, in Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace’s debut from 1994, he rapped about smoking “indo for weeks.” 2 Yukmouth contends that, in a posthumous release in 1999, Biggie clarified the term “indo” when he rapped the phrase “wake up and smell the Indonesia.” 3 Second, in 2003 the rap group Three 6 Mafia sang about their favorite types of marijuana, including that which came from the Indonesia. 4
This material would be impressive if there were nothing to the contrary. However, there was, as will now be seen.
Numskull’s witness Calvin “Snoop Dogg” Broadus, Jr., who has rapped about marijuana in 98% of his repertoire, testified that in 1994 he also rapped about “smokin’ indo” on his debut album. 5 He thereafter explained that “indo” is not tied to the marijuana’s geographic origin, but rather whether it is hydroponically grown. He provided the example: “You got outdoor, I like indo.” 6
Another witness, Reginald “Redman” Noble, who has not been sober since 1991, metaphorically highlighted the duality of marijuana by testifying “I rock indo and outdo, dick run in yo and out yo.” 7
When all the evidence is reviewed, it is clear that Numskull believed he could comply with the contract by delivering indoor-grown marijuana. Numskull’s subjective intent would not be significant if this did not coincide with the objective meaning of “indo weed.” Here, it did coincide with one of the Urban Dictionary meanings, with at least some usage in the trade, and with the realities of the market. Yukmouth had the burden of showing that “indo weed” was used in the narrower rather than in the broader sense, and this he has not sustained.
This opinion constitutes the Court’s findings of facts and conclusions of law. Judgment shall be entered dismissing the complaint with costs. So ordered.Legal Wanksta Case law funked out with a wanksta twist. What is “indo weed”? Decision and Order on Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, Jerold Ellis III v. Garrick Husbands , 668 Tr. Ct. 72 ]]>