Paul McCartney fined for growing cannabis

Thursday, March 8, 1973


In September 1972, the police raided Paul McCartney’s farm in Scotland and took some plants for chemical analysis. This led him to be notified in December 1972 that he would face a trial for drug possession. On this day, at the trial, Paul was fined £100 for growing cannabis.

More than the fine, this condemnation would block Paul to get a visa to enter the U.S.

From Jesse Tedesci on Twitter : “OTD in 1973, Campbeltown “…and five of them came up illegal”” / Twitter


A FAN’S gift to former Beatle Paul McCartney landed him in court yesterday. For five plant seeds that came through the post were a drug – cannabis.

McCartney grew them in a greenhouse on his remote hideaway farm. But yesterday he was fined £100 when he admitted knowingly cultivating the cannabis. The singer flew in a private executive jet to the court hearing at Campbeltown, Argyllshire.

Afterwards, McCartney, 30, said: “I am glad that it is all over. I was thinking that I would be writing my next few songs in jail.

During the twenty-five minute hearing, his defence counsel said that he had “an immense interest in horticulture.” McCartney said later: “I have grown quite a few kinds of pot plants in the greenhouse. One gets quite a few gifts of all kinds from fans. These seeds arrived by post, so I planted them in five pots.” He added: “I feel that there should be legislation on the use of cannabis. Drink is a much worse drug to my mind than cannabis.

Mr. lan Stewart, prosecuting, told the court that the plants were found by police making a routine crime prevention visit to McCartney’s hilltop farm near Campbeltown. Mr. John McCluskey, QC, for McCartney, said: “The plants were growing absolutely openly. There was no attempt to conceal them and I feel this is a technical offence.

McCartney’s pleas of not guilty to two charges of possessing the drug were accepted by the court.

Source ?
Source ?

Ex-Beatle Paul fined Ex-Beatle, Paul McCartney, was fined £100 at Campbeftown, Argyll, today, when he pleaded guilty to a charge of cultivating five cannabis plants in a greenhouse at his farm. His plea of not guilty to two charges of possessing cannabis was accepted.

Sheriff D.J. McDairmaid said he took into account that cannabis seeds had been given to McCartney in a gift. McCartney’s counsel, Mr. John McCluskey, said that as a result of the conviction McCartney would be refused admission to the United States, possibly for two or three years, which would have a serious effect on his business interests.

McCartney arrived by executive jet at the tiny airfield near Campbeltown, and then drove with his legal advisers to the Sheriff Court. With him was his wife Linda.

He had pleaded not guilty to charges that at High Park Farm, near Campbeltown, on September 19 last year, he had cannabis in his possession and under his control: that in the greenhouse at the farm he knowingly cultivated five cannabis plants: that at Ranachan Farm, also near Campbeltown, he had cannabis under his control and in his possession. McCartney, charged under his full name – James Paul McCartney – aged 30, was described on the charge sheet as a “musician.” His address was given as Cavendish Avenue, London. He owns both farms mentioned in the charges.

From Liverpool Echo – Thursday 08 March 1973
From Liverpool Echo – Thursday 08 March 1973
From Birmingham Daily Post – Friday 09 March 1973

Paul McCartney had five cannabis plants at farm

Paul McCartney, the former Beatle, was fined £100 at Campbeltown, Argyll, yesterday for cultivating five cannabis plants in a greenhouse at High Park Farm, Campbeltown last September 19. He pleaded guilty, but denied in his possession and under his control at High Park and Low Ranachan farms. Campbeltown, the same day, and these charges were dropped by the prosecution. Sheriff D. J. McDiarmid told Mr McCartney, who was allowed 14 riaTC in nav tha Ann ” T take into account the fact that these seeds were given to you in a gift, but I also take into account the fact that you are a considerable flciirp nt nuhtic interest, particularly among young people, and you must be dealt with accordingly.” Who said a crime prevention officer spotted the plants while visiting High Park, had submitted that the -penalty should be related not only to the crime but also the ex-Beatle’s means. “If your Lordship believes, as I do, that monetary penalty is appropriate in this case, I suggest it should be a severe one.” be added. Mr John McCluskey, QO, for Mr McCartney, said : ” These seeds, which, ui fact, were planted and grown in the greenhouse, were a gift from a fan received throngh the post. I want to emphasise that they were grown absolutely openiy. No attempt was made at concealment, said Mr Mc Cluskey. When the complaint was maae, a layman could not tell by looking at the plants that they were of the genus cannabis. The plants were not then capable of being made into cannabis resin, to which the regulations applied. He submitted that the offence was a technical one, and that the quantity of cannabis obtainable from the five plants would be extremely small.

Mr McCartney, who had flown from London for the hearing, said afterwards that he was very pleased with the way his case had gone, and added: “I must admit I did expect it to be worse. As it was, I was planning on writing a few songs in gaol. It would not be too bad, as long as you had a guitar.

From The Guardian – March 9, 1973
From London Evening Standard – March 8, 1973

Last updated on February 20, 2024

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