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Willie Nelson’s Legal Problems Not Up In Smoke Yet

Our Country

Remember back in November last year when Willie Nelson was busted for pot possession? Yeah, I can't say it's been really top-of-mind over here, either. However, apparently, Nelson is still not out of hot water regarding his incident with the law.

According to The New York Times, the presiding judge in the matter (the honorable Becky Dean-Walker of Texas's Hudspeth County) said she feels the singer is being let off too easily and is being shown preferential treatment due to his celebrity status.

In other words, what started out as a fairly minor incident (in terms of straightforwardness) has now grown into a looong and somewhat complicated story. I'll recap a timeline very briefly:

In late November 2010, Nelson was arrested in Texas at a border stop after agents discovered marijuana on board his tour bus. He released shortly after agreeing to appear in court at a later date. The alleged amount of pot found on the bus was enough to threaten a jail sentence.

In March of 2011, Hudspeth County Attorney Kit Bramblett--who says he considers the case routine--said Nelson could plead guilty to a misdemeanor if he paid a small fine and sang "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" in court. (Much press was made of this; it appears the attorney was not serious.) Judge Dean-Walker said no way, so things dragged on.

Last month, Bramblett returned with a reduced charge--from marijuana possession to possession of drug paraphernalia--and said the star should pay about $800 in fines and fees as a result.

On Friday, Judge Dean-Walker rejected this as well, thinking it too lenient a punishment.

"[Bramblett is] supposed to file the charge he feels is appropriate," the judge told The New York Times. "Not what he feels he should do for his favorite singer.

"If you're not going to do it for the guy in the corner, why do it for a celebrity?"

I suppose this is a fair enough stance (after all, Bramblett has admitted to the press that he is a fan of Nelson's work). However, I'm sure Nelson himself is wishing all of this would go up in smoke by now. No word on what the next steps will be or whether Nelson will actually have to appear in court.

Marijuana advocates, who identify with Nelson as an icon, are no doubt smoking mad as well. One pro-cannabis site, Toke Of The Town, is showing no mercy towards Judge Dean-Walker, posting photos of her and making fun of her appearance.

What do you think? Is Willie being let off too easy, or should the judge just let this go already? Be sure to let me know your thoughts.

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