This just in: Willie Nelson likes his herb.
The country outlaw is back on the road again after a pot-powered pit stop early Monday. Nelson and several bandmates received misdemeanor citations for marijuana possession after their tour bus was pulled over in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana. The bust came just two days after Nelson called for the decriminalization of marijuana while stumping for Texas gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman.
According to Willie Williams of the Louisiana Highway Patrol, Nelson and crew were traveling along Highway 10 when they were stopped for a routine commercial inspection. Officers on the scene caught a whiff of something suspicious emanating from the vehicle as soon as the driver opened the door. And BioWillie be damned, a search of the bus turned up about one and a half pounds of marijuana, along with a small bag of psychedelic mushrooms estimated at two-tenths of a pound.
"No one aboard the bus gave any of our troopers any problems," Williams told E! Online. "When the search was conducted, they were very cordial and...subsequently admitted to being the owners of the narcotics."
Williams stressed that the group did not receive any preferential treatment from troopers. Nelson and his band members were not arrested, Williams said, because the St. Martin Parish jail was "filled to capacity." It will be up to the county district attorney to decide whether the musicians will be called to court.
Aside from the 73-year-old ringleader, citations were issued to his sister, Bobbie Nelson, 75, of Briarcliff, Texas; Gates Moore, 54, from Austin; David Anderson, 50, of Dallas; and Tony Sizemore, 59, of St. Cloud, Florida.
If convicted, they could each face up to six months in jail--but probation and/or fines are more likely sentences.
Nelson's publicist, Elaine Shock, declined to comment.
Before the bust, the Farm Aid founder and his band were in his native Texas to headline Saturday's Austin City Limits Music Festival. Nelson gave an interview there in which he urged politicians to scrap criminal penalties for pot possession.
Those sentiments echoed the platform of his pal Friedman, a singer-songwriter turned politician who's mounting an independent bid for Texas governor and has called on the decriminalization of marijuana to help clear clogged state prisons of nonviolent offenders. Nelson has actively supported Friedman's candidacy, hosting a $1,000-per-plate fundraising dinner and signing a petition to get Friedman on the ballot.
"The hundred times that Kinky and I have talked during his campaign--we talked about energy, health, biodiesel, immigration, war--and the pot thing has never come up. Of course, I felt always that I knew where Kinky stood on that, and he knew where I stood, but I also knew that it was very risky to bring that out politically, but whatÂÂ?s Kinky got to lose?" Nelson said.
Aside from fighting for his right to toke, Nelson has been pushing for greener fuel (and has opened a chain of BioWillie diesel stations) and petitioning Congress to pass a bill banning the industrial slaughter of wild horses to sell as meat to consumers abroad.