Marijuana Policy Project
Curved Papers

Too Hot for Nelly: Rap Star Busted for Drugs in Tennessee

Nelly was rolling down I-40 in Tennessee when police pulled over his vehicle Saturday morning for not having proper stickers. After smelling marijuana, a search produced a small amount of weed and Ecstasy pills. Nelly and one other on the Prevost motor coach bus were arrested.

Nelly’s out-of-focus mug shot.

The stopped occurred at 9:20 am in Cookville, about 80 miles due East of Nashville. Nelly (nee Cornell Haynes) and his entourage (a total of six) were heading West to St. Louis, where he's from. It's unclear what they were doing in Tennessee. (According to Ticketmaster, Nelly doesn't have any official shows until May 1.)

Some news outlets are reporting that the police found "five rocks that tested positive for methampetamine," marijuana, drug paraphernalia and several guns. But Nelly's attorney Scott Rosenblum says, "Nelly was one of several individuals that was on a tour bus that was stopped and searched while traveling through Tennessee. In fact, there had been 15-20 people that had access to the bus prior to the stop. Allegedly, a small quantity of contraband (MDMA, a.k.a. Molly or Ecstasy) was discovered during the routine search. We are extremely confident that when the facts come out, Nelly will not be associated with the contraband that was allegedly discovered."

Nelly was charged with felony possession of drugs, simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Brian Jones, also from St. Louis, was charged with possession of a handgun. Both were taken to the Putman County Jail.

The rapper's debut album, Country Grammar, in 2000 was a sensation, climbing to No. 1, thanks to the huge hit, "Hot in Here." His latest album, M.O., came out in 2013.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.