Did attendant do right thing?
SPLENDOUR in the Grass - the music festival quite possibly more well-known for the drugs it brings together than the artists it brings together.
As the famous music festival took Byron Bay by storm last weekend, I'm not sure which sensation was more clear to us all the way up here in Bundaberg - the drilling vibrations from the musicians' heavy bass or the stenches of illicit substances that made their way up with the southern breeze.
And to the police force's credit, they were on to it, with sniffer dogs taking over Sydney Airport just in time for Splendour/drug enthusiasts to arrive home.
But what's really taken the media by storm is the Jetstar flight attendant who informed passengers of the sniffer dogs' impending presence, and the subsequent need to creatively dispose of anything before the plane landed.
Needless to say, many more people needed to go to the bathroom in the remaining 20 minutes of the flight than the 40 or so minutes which preceded the announcement.
I guess they'd just had a few too many beers.
Now, I do understand people's surprise on this one.
While normally you expect to be told to fasten your seatbelt, told there may be a little turbulence in the next few minutes or told there is no cabin food left to serve (on a Jetstar flight, at least), here we had some guy saying "Quick! Flush your drugs!"
I do not, however, understand people's disgust.
Sure, this flight attendant may have waived protocol a little bit by not playing his company's pre-recorded quarantine announcement.
But when we peel the issue back here, it all comes back to the fact he was trying to be a nice bloke.
It's been a big week for cops in Australia.
Not only were they taking down bikie gangs, seeking entry to aeroplane crash sites and unnecessarily handcuffing pop stars.
They were hitting up Sydney Airport with an army of sniffer dogs, too.
To be fair, these officers (and yes, their dogs as well) were doing nothing more than their job, and it's not as if drug crackdowns are a new phenomenon.
I mean, if these festival-goers were actually the least bit surprised when they heard there were sniffer dogs patiently awaiting the arrival of a plane chock-a-block with people who had been in the vicinity of about 95% of all illicit drugs in the nation for the whole weekend, chances are they were still feeling the effects of that 95%.
That all said, I don't see the issue with the Jetstar employee in question here.
Let's look at the crime in question in perspective here: it's not that big - certainly not as big as our legal system makes it out to be.
Don't get me wrong for a second here. I'm not diminishing the problems associated with illegal drugs, nor am I belittling people's struggles with addiction.
But the guys on this plane were not hurting anyone. So why not give them a little tip?
These people were not drug lords - they were a group of young people who went away for a fun weekend and, perhaps foolishly, made drugs a part of that.
Unless they had actually caused harm to someone else, would you be able to stand idly by and watch about a hundred people walk off your plane into the waiting nostrils of well-trained Beagles... for simply making a mistake?
Yes, they broke the law.
But I'm sure you've gone a few clicks over the speed limit before - lucky someone flashed their lights at you to warn you about the traffic cop around the corner.