The rapper known as 2 Chainz was found not guilty on marijuana charges stemming from a traffic stop on Valentine's Day.
2 Chainz, aka Tauheed Epps, was apparently a big hit with the troopers who pulled him over. They posed for a few pictures with the hip-hop artist, TMZ reports -- but still arrested him on drug possession and paraphernalia charges.
A judge, however, agreed that the rapper "ain't never told no lie" about an incriminating grinder not being his.
Epps, 35, was on his way to a concert with six other people when his van was stopped for speeding, The Star Democrat reports.
After approaching the van, officers reportedly smelled burnt marijuana, which gave them probable cause to search the van. The troopers reportedly found a metal grinder, and charged 2 Chainz with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
In his defense, the rapper's attorney argued that there wasn't any evidence to prove the gray bag belonged to 2 Chainz.
The judge agreed. Talbot County District Court Judge William H. Adkins III -- which makes for a pretty nice rapper name -- said this was more of a paraphernalia case. That's because troopers didn't find any weed, just a grinder.
Because there was no weed, the judge ruled that 2 Chainz was not guilty of possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana, The Star Democrat reports.
But drug possession laws also prohibit paraphernalia like syringes, pipes, and grinders. A regular, clean grinder can't be considered paraphernalia in and of itself -- but a grinder with marijuana residue or sold explicitly as a weed grinder can be considered illegal drug paraphernalia.
In 2 Chainz's case, since the grinder's primary use appeared to be for drugs, that falls into the category of paraphernalia.
Fortunately for 2 Chainz, the judge said the grinder was without a doubt in 2 Chainz's bag, but it couldn't be proved that the grinder was his.
A drug paraphernalia charge requires prosecutors to prove that a defendant knew he had possession of, or control over, the paraphernalia and that he knew it was for drug purposes.
In 2 Chainz's case, witnesses testified that after he was arrested, Epps was asking his friends who owned the grinder.
Since it wasn't clear who owned it, 2 Chainz was found not guilty of the possession of paraphernalia charge.
"You want true, that's true enough," as 2 Chainz himself might say. Yeah 2 Chainz, the marijuana not-guilty verdict is true enough...
- 2 Chainz off the hook in Eastern Shore marijuana case (The Washington Post)
- Nelly's Tour Bus Busted with 10 Pounds of Pot, Heroin (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- Snoop Dogg Busted for Pot by Police Dog (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- 2-Pound Joint Confiscated at Santa Cruz Pot Rally (FindLaw's Legal Grounds)