Whether or not you believe marijuana should one day be permitted by the government, the fact of the matter is that it remains illegal. This puts celebrities in a particularly embarrassing situation when they’re caught with the drug. Here is a list of 15 famous faces that have been busted for having, using, or trafficking cannabis.
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Before he was a famous comedian, Bill Murray was busted for pot charges at the age of 20. While waiting in line for a plane at O’Hare airport Murray joked that he was carrying a bomb in his luggage. Airport security searched his bag, not finding the joke all that funny, only to find five bricks of marijuana in place of an explosive device. Police had a prior tip-off that Murray would attempt to traffic the weed to Denver and promptly arrested him. He was sentenced to five years probation, quit his pre-med studies, and struck out for a comedy career instead.
Rapper Lil Kim is no stranger to legal troubles, stretching back to a 1996 New Jersey arrest. During a police raid on the home of Biggie Smalls the artist was arrested for possession of marijuana.
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Armie Hammer was arrested in January 2012 in Sierra Blanca, Texas. During a border patrol check a drug sniffing dog found marijuana in The Lone Ranger star’s car. Among the substances found were .02 ounces of cannabis, three medical marijuana cookies and one brownie.
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Snoop Dogg and marijuana go together like The Beatles and mop top haircuts or KISS and grease paint. The rapper, who in a Reddit AMA claimed he clocks in around "81 blunts a day," was also arrested in Sierra Blanca in 2012. While he was only arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, it was just one more entry in Snoop’s decade spanning rap sheet (no pun intended).
Robert Mitchum, Old Hollywood’s original bad boy, was arrested in 1948 for smoking a joint at a private party. He was sentenced to two months at a Los Angeles prison farm and, though he believed the arrest meant the end of his career, he bounced back quickly with a box office hit.
Okay, celebrities, let it be known—do not pass through Sierra Blanca with the intention of smuggling drugs. The law enforcement clearly does not appreciate your attempts—case in point, Fiona Apple, who faces a minimum of two years in prison because police discovered four grams of marijuana and two grams of hashish on her tour bus.
Louis Armstrong was arrested in 1931 during a smoke break outside of a club, marking him as the very first celebrity to be busted for the drug. He would spend nine days in Downtown Los Angeles jail and a judge later suspended his sentence.
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Texas-born actor Matthew McConaughey was arrested in Austin, Texas in 1999 for drug possession. After neighbors filed a noise complaint, police arrived to find McConaughey and his Dazed and Confused co-star, Cole Hauser, smoking and playing the bongos unclothed. McConaughey would have the drug charges dropped and paid a $50 fine for noise violations.
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Actress Katie Morgan was arrested in 2000 for trying to smuggle over 100 pounds of marijuana across the U.S.-Mexican border. She turned to the adult film industry as a means of paying off her bail, fell into the niche, and later broke out of as a prolific actress and podcaster.
On New Year’s Eve, singer-songwriter Frank Ocean was pulled over for speeding in Mono County, California. Police found a small bag of marijuana on his person, though it was legal via prescription. Nevertheless, he was cited for possession.
Paul McCartney has been arrested for marijuana-related incidents several times. His most infamous incident occurred in 1980 when the Beatles bassist was arrested in a Japanese airport after authorities found pot in his luggage. Despite the fact the crime typically garners 10 years of hard labor, McCartney was jailed for 10 days and released without charge. Last year he announced he was giving up the drug to become a more responsible parent to his daughter Beatrice.
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In 2012 rapper Wiz Khalifa was charged for possession twice within the span of ten days. First he was cited for smoking in his room at a Holiday Inn in Nashville. Ten days later police in Winston-Salem, North Carolina cited him after finding 11.39 grams of pot on his tour bus.
Method Man, another rapper known for his professed love of marijuana, was arrested in New York in 2007 while driving near Battery Tunnel on his way to Manhattan. He was charged on unlawful and criminal possession of the drug and for driving under the influence. He was later arrested in 2009 for tax violations, an oversight he recently blamed on his struggle with marijuana addiction.
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In February 1996 rapper Queen Latifah was arrested for marijuana possession and, most surprisingly, carrying a loaded pistol. While tabloid talk of the latter charge far outweighed that of the former (Latifah’s songs were preaching nonviolence at the time), the rapper/actress later attributed the possession of both materials to a depression caused by the death of her brother.
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Willie Nelson has long been known as an “outlaw” musician and has a rap sheet to match it. However, at the age of 77, one might think these days would be behind the musician. As revealed by police in Sierra Blanca (those folks again), that was not the case. In 2010 Nelson was charged with possession of six ounces of marijuana. While the Sheriff threatened to charge Nelson with 180 days in prison, he took a plea bargain involving fines and a thirty day probation.