Every 45 seconds, someone is arrested for marijuana in the United States, and as this list shows, celebrities are not immune from the government’s marijuana policy. The following is a list of celebrity arrests for marijuana possession. Some of the names aren’t too shocking, but others may surprise you and remind you that marijuana users are old, young, and bearing many shades of pigmentation. Read on to find out more.
In 1999, the Oscar winning actor was in the midst of butt-naked bongo playing when he was arrested on suspicion of drug possession. After spending nine hours in county jail, McConaughey was released on $1,000 bond. The charges were dropped.
When recalling the incident, McConaughey stated,
“What’s wrong with beating on your drums in your birthday suit? I have no regrets about the way I got there.”
In 2004, Macauley Culkin, the beloved child star of the “Home Alone” movie franchise was arrested for possession of 17.3 grams of marijuana, eight Xanax pills, and 16 sedative pills. Culkin did not have a prescription for the drugs. The actor was released on a $4000 bond. During an interview on “Larry King Live,” Culkin said,
“Everything that I do for some reason becomes this big crazy thing, you know, even though any normal person does it. Like, yes I’m a kid, I had a beer, I smoked a joint. Big deal.”
In 2007, the star of the teen drama “The O.C.” was arrested for driving under the influence and possession of marijuana after police noticed her erratic driving. Barton spent seven hours in the county jail and was finally released on $10,000 bail.
In 1997, Allen Iverson, the NBA’s 1996 Rookie of the Year, was arrested for firearms and marijuana possession. Iverson was a passenger in a car driven by Maduro Earl Hill. Hill was stopped for speeding, and when the officer smelled marijuana, he asked the men to exit the vehicle. The state trooper discovered a .45-caliber pistol and marijuana in the car. Iverson was held at New Kent County jail and released after posting bond.
In 1976, David Bowie, dressed to the nines and hair slicked back, was arrested along with James Osterberg, Jr., AKA Iggy Pop, and two others on marijuana charges at 2:25 AM in his hotel room at the Americana Rochester Hotel.
The 28-year-old Bowie posted his and his friends’ bonds and managed to secure a preliminary court hearing on April 20 (4/20)
About the police officers he dealt with, Bowie said, “They were very courteous and very gentle. They’ve just been super.” When the grand jury declined to indict the singer, the charges were dropped.
On September 21, 1970, two things happened to Bill Murray: he turned 20 and he was arrested for the possession of $20,000 worth of marijuana. While waiting to board a plane at the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Murray decided to tell someone waiting in line that he was carrying two bombs in his bag. The jokester didn’t anticipate an eavesdropping ticket agent reporting that information to the U.S. marshals who searched Murray’s bags and found two five pound bricks of marijuana. Since he was a first time offender, Murray was put on 5 years probation. He chose to drop out of college before being dismissed for the drug charges.
In 2006, the 18 year old actor best known for the line, “I see dead people,” was arrested for drunk driving and marijuana possession after getting into an accident on his way home from a concert. He sustained minor injuries and was released from custody on a $15,000 bond.
In 1996, the rapper and TV series star of “Living Single” was arrested for possession of a firearm and marijuana. The Queen was pulled over for speeding, and when the officer smelled marijuana, he asked her if she had drugs or firearms in her possession. She replied yes to both queries and was arrested.
In 1996, actor Woody Harrelson, longtime advocate of marijuana reform, intentionally planted hemp in rural Kentucky in an act of civil disobedience meant to highlight the state’s lack of distinction between marijuana and hemp, although hemp contains almost no THC. Harrelson was arrested with misdemeanor possession. In 2000, a Kentucky jury dismissed the charges after less than an hour of deliberation.
In 1976, police raided the singer’s home and found less than an ounce of marijuana. The arrest was removed from Diamond’s record after he agreed to complete a drug aversion program.
While on the road in Louisiana, singer and musician Willie Nelson was arrested for possession of marijuana and narcotic mushrooms. Nelson’s tour bus was stopped for inspection.
The officer smelled marijuana, searched the vehicle, and found 1.5 pounds of marijuana and over 3 ounces of mushrooms
Nelson was only charged with a misdemeanor since the other passengers on the bus also claimed ownership of the drugs. Nelson was arrested again in 2010 when 6 ounces of marijuana was found on his tour bus. A long time advocate of marijuana reform, Nelson said about legalization, “I think it’s only a matter of time. The economy going off is going to help a lot. There’s money there, and anyone with brains at all can say, ‘Why do you want the criminals to make money off of this when it’s proven that it won’t kill you unless you let a bale of it fall on you?’”
In 1961, the blind singer was arrested for possession of marijuana, heroine, and other narcotics. Because the evidence was obtained illegally, the case was eventually dismissed. However, Charles was arrested again in 1964 for possession of marijuana and heroine. Charles checked himself into a rehabilitation program and kicked his drug habit in “96 hours,” though the program really lasted about four months. After the initial 96 hours, Charles received five years probation.