Willie Nelson Escapes Jail for Texas Pot Bust– For a Song
Last November, country music legend, political activist and avid marijuana smoker Willie Nelson was busted with six ounces (170 grams) of pot at a West Texas Border Patrol checkpoint as he traveled from California to Austin, Texas. The “Red Headed Stranger” was hauled off to the local hoosegow, released hours later on a $2,500 bond. The 77-year-old musician faced up to a year behind bars for possession of the not-so-small amount of weed. One unlucky Texan was sentenced to 35 years in prison for having just over four ounces (113 grams) of pot in his vehicle, which was parked in a school zone. All it took was a tough-on-drugs prosecutor wanting to make an example out of a celebrity, and it could have been quite a while before Nelson was “on the road again.”
Alas, Willie’s getting off for a song— literally. It turns out that Hudspeth County Attorney Kit Bramblett is ready and willing to make a deal with the music legend. “I’m gonna let him plead, pay a small fine and he’s gotta sing “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” with his guitar right there in the courtroom,” Bramblett told the Big Bend Sentinel. “You bet your ass I ain’t gonna be mean to Willie Nelson.” “Willie Nelson is 77 years old and I’m 78,” he added. “He’s been my favorite artist all my life. We all knows he smokes a little pot.”
But 6 ounces is more than just a little pot. Such a high amount does not fall under local jurisdiction.
Bramblett joked that “between me and the sheriff, we threw out enough of it or smoked enough so that there’s only three ounces, which is within my jurisdiction.” At least I think he was joking. Bramblett explained that unwrapping the marijuana from its packaging lowered the weight enough so that the case fell under the county’s jurisdiction, rather than state or federal domain.
Nelson will have to pay a $100 fine and court costs of $278. For those who are about to cry “special treatment!”, travelers caught with small amounts of marijuana for personal use are often allowed to plead and pay their fines and court costs through the mail. But County Judge Becky Dean Walker told Bramblett that he didn’t “dare let Willie Nelson plead through the mail.” She must be a huge fan too.
Willie Nelson sings “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”:
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