March 21, 1976

On this day in 1976, David Bowie was arrested for possession of marijuana.     

After Bowie performed at the Community War Memorial Arena in Rochester, N.Y., he and three friends (one of which was Iggy Pop) were busted at the Americana Rochester Hotel. Police ceased a half a pound of cannabis and took the men into custody.

Bowie paid all four bonds and continued on his tour before his arraignment date. When Bowie returned a few days later to plead innocent, a crowd of 200 people were waiting outside the courthouse to cheer Bowie on. Bowie and his entourage ignored reporters’ shouted questions and fans’ yells as he walked in — except for one teenager who got his autograph as he stepped off the escalator.

Asked for a plea by the City Court Judge to the charge of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, Bowie said, “not guilty, sir.”

In the end, all charges were eventually dropped.


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