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Hendrix Charged: Smack, Hash

No charges of trafficking, but will appear in preliminary hearing for possession

Jimi Hendrix
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
July 26, 1969

TORONTO — Jimi Hendrix will have to stand jury trial on charges of possession of heroin and hashish, Judge Robert Taylor ruled at a preliminary hearing June 19th.

Hendrix was released on $10,000 cash bail, and no definite date was set for the trial.

Hendrix was arrested May 3rd at Toronto International Airport when a customs official found three packages of white powder in a glass jar in a flight bag Hendrix had offered for inspection. Also found was a metal tube.

At the hearing, the state prosecutor said that chemical analysis showed the powder to be heroin, while the substance in the tube was hash.

Hendrix Busted In Toronto

Hendrix was not expected to enter a plea at the hearing – a normal, procedural event – and remained silent while the prosecutor read a list of other contents of the flight bag – shampoo, hair spray, a large comb, vitamin pills, and a pocketbook.

There were no other charges leveled at Hendrix, thus dispelling reports of trafficking, transporting, and cannabis charges spread around the time of the airport arrest.

Hendrix was busted near the tail end of a long concert tour; he had just flown into Toronto from Detroit when his eight-man troupe was stopped at Customs.

After his preliminary hearing, he flew back west to appear the next night at the Newport '69 festival at Devonshire Downs. He was uptight, to say the least, but seemed a totally different man Sunday, when he made a surprise appearance to conduct, direct, and play a two-hour jam with Buddy Miles, Mother Earth, Eric Burdon, and assorted sax and reed men.

This story is from the July 26th, 1969 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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