AP Photo/John Minchillo, IStock
AP Photo/John Minchillo, IStock
If you haven't been following the saga of "Pot Mom" Andrea Sanderlin, you're missing the best movie that isn't a movie yet ever. (It is basically seasons one through three—and maybe eight—of Weeds though, so if you've watched those you're pretty much all caught up.)
Sanderline made headlines again today when she was released from jail on a $500,000 bail, pending the co-signing of her apparently estranged father and other family members. The New York mother of two has been accused of operating a $3-million-plus marijuana enterprise.
With the success of Sofia Coppola's Bling Ring, which was ripped from the headlines of tabloids and based off the Vanity Fair article "The Suspects Wore Louboutins," it's only a matter of time before some Hollywood exec options this new story (if one hasn't already) and an A-Lister leading lady (Jennifer Aniston? Jennifer Garner?) attaches herself to star.
The movie basically writes itself:
The Beginning: We start the movie in Scarsdale, N.Y., where Sanderlin, 45, is living a life of luxury. She's a divorced mother of two (daughters three and 13-years-old), who resides with her kids in a plush mansion, drives a Mercedes and takes riding lessons on a $10,000 horse.
The action of the movie starts when Andrea receives a business call. The person on the other end of the call refers to her as "Andi" (an alias, of sorts, that one witness linked to Sanderlin). She drives her Mercedes to a Queens warehouse owned by her company, Fantastic Enterprises.
[Fun Fact: One of the dealers on Showtimes' Weeds, which has drawn plenty of parallels to this case, was named Andy. Small world!]
It's here that viewers learn what cops allege: Andrea is a drug dealer. ("Whether you're a suburban mom growing marijuana in a warehouse in Queens or a cartel member making cocaine in the jungles of Colombia, manufacturing and distributing illegal narcotics comes at a hefty price," a Homeland Security agent would later say about Sanderlin.)
The Middle: We watch Sanderline balance her job as a suburban mom in with her job running an illegal operation in the city, etc. There are moments of dark humor as she attempts to keep each life separate, etc. Then...she's arrested.
After being tipped off, police follow Andrea to the warehouse where they find close to 3,000 marijuana plants set up in a state-of-the-art growing house. ("The warehouse was filled with over $3 million worth of hydroponic marijuana," a DEA agent reports, also noting that books on growing marijuana and money laundering were found at her home.)
Andrea pleads not guilty to charges of manufacturing and possessing marijuana with intent to distribute it and maintaining a warehouse where marijuana was grown and processed. In jail, she waits for over a month for someone to post bail.
The End? She is sprung free from jail (today), but here is where the movie (and real life) takes another bizarre twist: Four acquaintances, at best, rally to raise the funds to free her: An MTA train engineer, a secretary for Reuters and two hair salon employees (according to The NY Daily News).
Andrea is then fitted with an electronic ankle monitor and sent to wait out her next court appearance (set for July 15) in the Manhattan apartment of her children's grandparents. If she's convicted, she could face 10 years in prison and $10 million in fines.
We'll have to wait to see how the case is resolved (though ambiguous endings are all the rage in cinema these days), but this is a movie we'd definitely see. Actually, it seems like we just did.