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Ten Musicians Who've Been Busted with Marijuana

If Colorado and Washington are the way of the future, weed will soon be decriminalized everywhere. But until that day comes, rock stars are going to be busted for having it on their person. It's happened since the dawn of rock n' roll. So many of our most famous and beloved musicians have spent a night on lockdown for holding the reefer. Here are ten of the most interesting cases.

1. Louis Armstrong

All the way back in 1931, the famous jazz trumpeter nicknamed Satchmo was the first celebrity arrested for ganja. He was sentenced to nine days in the Los Angeles city jail. In the fifties, Armstrong wrote a letter to President Eisenhower to legalize it. "What A Wonderful World" is Armstrong imagining Eisenhower coming through.

2. Donovan

They say weed makes you paranoid, but that doesn't mean they're not after you. In 1966, the folkie troubadour Donovan became the first British rock star busted for marijuana. His explanation, "Why was I busted? Tens of thousands of guys were rolling joints that night. Why me? Because I was an example to youth. The authorities thought they could stop this revolution called the sixties by picking off the main singer-songwriters. The poets were always at the forefront."

3. Willie Nelson

The Red Headed Stranger has been busted four times. Once driving to former Texas Governor Ann Richards' funeral. Most recently, in a 2010 arrest, his sentence was to sing "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" for the court.

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David Rolland is a freelance writer for New Times Broward-Palm Beach and Miami New Times. His novel, The End of the Century, published by Jitney Books, is available at many fine booksellers.
Contact: David Rolland

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