Willie Nelson was in Virginia for a concert and afterwards Governor Terry McAuliffe, who opposes marijuana legalization, visited Nelson for 10 minutes on Nelson's bus.
On the table in the bus, less than 16" from where McAuffle was seated, was a 1/4-ounce can from Nelson's cannabis line called Willie's Reserve, which Mr. Nelson sells, as well as a pot grinder and an ashtray. The items are in a photo widely distributed to the press in Virginia.
Under McAuffle, thousands of people have been arrested for possession of marijuana and for intent to sell.
Under Virginia law, both men should have been arrested for intent to distribute because the bus had other cans of Willie's Reserve in it. This is a felony offense and carries with it a $2,500 fine and a twelve-month prison sentence.
Marijuana arrests have been concentrated disproportionately on the African-American population, the Washington Post reported last year; 47 percent of those arrested in Virginia in 2013 were black, while they are one-fifth of the state's population. Blacks were three times as likely to get arrested for marijuana as whites.
Police were next the bus and the marijuana and paraphernalia were clearly visible when the door to the bus was opened. Of course, Both Nelson and McAufille are white.
McAufile, when shown the photograph, said he didn't know what cannibus stavia is. The words were clearly printed on the can's label. He said he was "totally ignorant about the situation."
Black Lives Matter spokeswoman, Elizabeth Washington stated, "Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Of course he could be ignorant of what cannibus means, in which case why would that fool be putting thousands of my borthers and sisters in prison. Why is he dictating laws on stuff he doesn't understand?"
"That man should be in prison," she said.