• Chester B Simpson

Busted for one joint

Updated: May 6

"To me, pot is just fun, and I'm glad to see the rest of the country is coming around to my way of seeing things."

-Keith Richards, 2015


The year was 1972 and for some reason, my hometown had been dry of good weed for a few months. I received a phone call I'd been waiting for, it had finally arrived at my friend’s house.


My buddies Greg Gunter, Steve Jones, and I decided to pool our money together and purchase three ounces of Miasma Con weed. Supposedly, it came from Columbia in South America. So, I drove everyone to my dealer’s house and picked up 3 big, beautiful bags of herb. We rolled a few joints, fired one up, and drove around town with all the windows up, trying to get really stoned.


A high school football game was going on near us, so we decided to pull off and go see the game. The only problem was that we still had one more joint. Right when we decided to move on, a motorcycle policeman pulled us over. I could not open the car door, so I had to roll down the window, causing all the marijuana smoke to come rolling out like a big fog, hitting the officer right in the face.

He immediately said, "Stay there," and radioed that he had a car pulled over for suspicion of marijuana.


I looked at my friends and said, "We have three ounces of pot in the car, in the state of Virginia that's a felony. I do not want to be charged with a felony, so the only thing to do is to run!" and they agreed.


I sped out of that parking lot with the motorcycle cop giving chase.


I yelled at my friends to hold the plastic bags of weed by the bag and dump it all out before releasing the bag, and to also throw out all paraphernalia we had in the car. We did this furiously, running several stoplights. With the motorcycle police still chasing us we drove over a bridge, only to see a police roadblock up ahead.


I remember like it was a bad dream, pulling over to the side of the road, seeing cops with guns drawn running towards my car and I was pinching myself hoping it was all a dream.


I was yanked out of my car along with my friends, and asked "Where’s the Pot?"

I replied, "I don't know what you're talking about" as they searched the trunk, around the engine, and inside my vehicle. They then searched me and found the one joint that I had forgotten about in the rush. I had placed it in my shirt pocket.


The policeman said, "I have enough to bust your ass!" and I grabbed one end of the joint and ripped half of it away from him. Two other policemen came running over, thinking I was fighting back, and proceed to beat the fuck out of me. Breaking my nose, blacking my eyes, and putting three pairs of handcuffs on me, they threw me into a cop car.


They took us down to the station, into the drug enforcement offices, and started to question us.

"Where'd you get the weed and who did you get it from?"


I lied and said we got it from a Rock Festival we attended in North Carolina weeks before and they made me call my parents and tell them what happened. The detective grabbed the phone and explained to my folks that I had been hauling marijuana in my car and to come and bail me out.


My parents had no idea that I had been smoking marijuana at this point. They arrived panicked, and wondered how much weed I had in my car? I told them it was less than a joint. My dad, seeing my battered face for the first time said, "What happened to your face?"


He couldn't understand why the police would beat me up so badly over one joint.

The cops released me and my friends to our parents and said that we better lawyer up.


Check out photographs by the artist: Rock-n-roll Photography

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