Linda McCartney arrested in London for possession of marijuana

Tuesday, January 17, 1984
Timeline More from year 1984
Location:
Heathrow Airport, London, UK

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All our bags were thoroughly searched by police in Barbados after we were busted there. They told us they were clean but they obviously didn’t do a thorough job. Most of the time, Linda doesn’t know what’s in her bag anyway. It wouldn’t have been there if they’d done their job properly!

Paul McCartney, phone interview from his farm near Rye. From UPI, January 18, 1984.

From UPI, January 17, 1984:

LONDON — Former Beatle Paul McCartney’s wife, Linda, was arrested for possession of marijuana today on the couple’s arrival from Barbados, where they had been fined for having pot.

‘Linda McCartney was charged with possessing cannabis and will have to appear in court on Jan. 24,’ a spokesman for Scotland Yard said about the arrest at London’s Heathrow Airport. He would not specify how much marijuana Mrs. McCartney was carrying or where she had hidden it.

The American-born Mrs. McCartney was released on unconditional bail.

On his arrival in London with his wife and four children, Paul had appealed for the decriminalization of marijuana, saying it was less harmful than drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes or sniffing glue.

‘Let’s get one thing straight, whatever you think I’ve done, this substance cannabis is a whole lot less harmful than rum punch, whiskey, nicotine and glue, all of which are perfectly legal,’ McCartney told reporters at the airport.

‘I’d like to see it decriminalized. Let’s face it, this is something I like to do — having a drop of cannabis,’ McCartney said.

‘Really, we (himself and his wife) would both like to get off cannabis.’

McCartney, 41, and Linda, flew in from Barbados where the millionaire musician was fined $100 Monday on his second marijuana offense in four years.

The couple was arrested in Bridgetown, Barbados Sunday for possessing just under half an ounce of marijuana, police said. They pleaded guilty — four years to the day after McCartney was arrested at the Tokyo airport for traveling into Japan with half a pound of marijuana. The Jan. 16, 1980, arrest forced the cancellation of his tour of Japan and the star spent nine days in a Tokyo jail before being deported.

‘I’ve got absolutely no grudges,’ McCartney said at Heathrow of the Barbados incident. ‘It was a small amount of cannabis and I intended to use it but the police came to my place and I gave them 10 grams of cannabis. Linda had another small carton of cannabis in her handbag.’

McCartney, who was wearing a button on his black jacket that read ‘Leave me alone, I’m having a crisis,’ said he and his American-born wife ‘want to go back to Barbados but really we would both like to get off cannabis.

‘I think it’s very much better than drinking large loads of whiskey or rum or sniffing glue or other things people use to solve their problems,’ he said of marijuana. ‘I think it’s much less harmful.’

When asked by a reporter if he would give up smoking marijuana, McCartney said: ‘I will never smoke again but again I can’t really promise.

McCartney had promised he would give up smoking after he was arrested in Japan. […]

Let’s get one thing straight, whatever you think I’ve done, this substance cannabis is a whole lot less harmful than rum punch, whiskey, nicotine and glue, all of which are perfectly legal

Paul McCartney, January 17, 1984, at London airport
(Original Caption) Paul McCartney and wife Linda arrive here 1/17 from Barbados, where they were fined Dlrs 100 for possession of marijuana. McCartney said at London Airport that he thought the use of marijuana should be decriminalised.

Last updated on April 5, 2020

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