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"I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. It is an herb and a flower." -- Willie Nelson.
Country music legend Willie Nelson has been an advocate for the legalization of marijuana long before he began getting arrested for possession of the drug. His latest arrest, at the ripe old age of 77, was originally supposed to land the country music legend in a Texas jail.
Luckily for Nelson, he wasn't packing as much of the "flower" as originally thought. Thus, he will avoid jail time with the classification of his pot charge as a misdemeanor and not a felony. If convicted, Nelson will only have to pay fines stemming from his possession.
Bad math was the cause of the original confusion. When the arrest was first made, it was believed that Nelson had six ounces of marijuana in his possession -- an amount that makes for an automatic felony and jail time.
When the actual amount was weighed, it was just under four ounces, which falls under a misdemeanor. The Cleveland Leader reports that Nelson will likely pay a $4,000 fine and be sentenced to some type of community service or probation as his punishment.
As with many crimes, the classification between a felony and a misdemeanor can have a huge effect on the procedural and substantive aspects of the sentencing. Like many drug possession cases, the distinction usually rests on a technicality. In Willie Nelson's case, the scales were tipped in his favor, this time.