Last weekend, Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe paid Willie Nelson a visit after the annual Farm Aid benefit concert in Bristow, Virginia. The two posed for a happy picture together in Nelson’s bus, but unbeknownst to McAuliffe, there was a jar of Willie’s trademark weed—legally sold in Colorado and Washington—sitting right there in plain view. So much for the governor’s nice photo op.
Nelson’s wife Annie D’Angelo noticed the can of Willie’s Reserve—or perhaps knew about it’s placement all along—and tweeted it at CNN contributor Paul Begala with the caption “UH OH Trouble!”
McAuliffe’s spokesman Brian Roy told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the governor had no idea that a container of marijuana sitting right next to him. It also seems like the governor was unaware of Nelson’s well-known love and use of the herb.
“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,” he said. “He’s cool, but he’s not that cool.”
Coy added that McAuliffe has “never touched a drug in his life.” While we’re skeptical of that claim, D’Angelo did say that only Nelson smoked that night.
McAuliffe has expressed support for medical marijuana in the past ( the state is also considering legislation that would legalize certain cannabis oil for medical use for some patients), but two years ago, the governor said he’s “not there yet” on legalizing recreational use. “Not there yet” translates to police officers in Virginia continuing to bust people for marijuana; as The Intercept notes, in 2015 alone more than 20,000 people were arrested in the for marijuana-related offenses.
As for the weed next to the good governor in the photo: It looks like a quarter ounce container, so if he and Willie were busted by the local law they would only face up to 30 days in prison and a $500 fine, unless either had prior drug convictions in the state, in which case they could spend up to a year in prison and pay a $2,500 fine.