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40 Years Ago: Paul McCartney Busted for Growing Cannabis

Jack Kay/Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Paul McCartney really is “mother nature’s son,” and he’s got the arrest record to prove it. In early March of 1973, Scottish police made a discovery on the McCartney farm. It seems Sir Paul was growing marijuana plants on his property. An arrest was made, which would lead to a conviction for “illegal cultivation” and with it, a £100 fine (about $240 at the time).

At the time of the arrest, McCartney famously stated that a fan had given him the seeds, and he didn’t know what would blossom from them (Good one, Paul!). Due to this particular arrest, McCartney was denied a visa by the US government. That ban was ultimately lifted in December 1973.

This was not Paul’s first — or last — brush with drug laws. According to the book ‘The Paul McCartney Encyclopedia,’ the previous year he had been fined in Sweden for possession of marijuana, and in 1975, he was arrested once again for the “sweet leaf,” this time in Los Angeles.

Most famous, perhaps, was his bust at the Tokyo airport in 1980, when customs officers discovered cannabis tucked away in his luggage. 1984 found him in handcuffs in Barbados, again for possession of the “wildwood weed.

“Cannabis is less harmful than rum punch, whiskey, nicotine and glue, all of which are perfectly legal,” said McCartney. “I don’t think I was doing anyone any harm whatsoever.”

Next: Top 10 Underrated Paul McCartney Songs

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