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Virginia governor photographed with Willie Nelson’s weed

The governor's office has denied knowing what the heck was going on.


Andrew Couts


Posted on Sep 20, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 11:27 pm CDT

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe tripped into a pot-infused mini-non-scandal this week after he visited country music immortal Willie Nelson’s tour bus. 

McAuliffe popped into Nelson’s bus at the Farm Aid 2016 music festival to thank the musician for performing, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. While on the bus, McAuliffe took at seat at Nelson’s table, and wife Annie Nelson snapped a photo of the men. She later tweeted the photo to McAuliffe and CNN commentator Paul Begala with the caption, “UH-OH TROUBLE!”

The “trouble” Nelson references is the stash of marijuana sitting on the table.

In a statement to the Times-Dispatch, McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy said the governor “had no idea” there was marijuana nearby—a notion that may shock fans of the famous weed aficionado who once claimed to have smoked pot on the roof of the White House with former President Jimmy Carter’s son. 

“He was not and still is not aware of whatever was on the table or anywhere around him and wouldn’t know marijuana or related paraphernalia if it walked up and shook his hand,” Coy said. “He’s cool, but he’s not that cool.”

McAuliffe, who opposes marijuana legalization in his state, has said that he has never tried drugs, including marijuana, in his life. 

Virginia is currently considering legislation that would legalize certain cannabis oil for medical use in some patients. Those arrested for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana face misdemeanor charges and fines up to $1,000 for repeat offenders. Anyone busted with greater than half an ounce are looking at one to 30 years in prison, depending on the amount, and felony charges.

The Red-Headed Stranger, of course, generally gets a free pass.

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*First Published: Sep 20, 2016, 2:21 pm CDT