A photo of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe hanging out with legendary singer Willie Nelson with what seems to be a can of Willie’s Reserve, Nelson’s brand of marijuana products, was posted on social media over the weekend causing McAuliffe’s camp to scramble out an explanation.
Willie Nelson’s wife, Annie Nelson, posted the photo on Twitter on with the message “UH-OH Trouble!” The governor “wouldn’t know marijuana or related paraphernalia if it walked up and shook his hand,” his spokesperson Brian Coy said in an interview.
— 🗣💨6630507 (@BioAnnie1) September 17, 2016
Coy told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the governor met with Nelson to thank performers at Farm Aid 2016, a benefit concert headlined by Nelson that raises money for family farmers. Coy mentioned that McAuliffe visited Nelson for 10 minutes or less and “had no idea” what else was on the bus.
“He was not and still is not aware of whatever was on the table or anywhere around,” Coy said in an interview.
Willie’s Reserve is currently sold in Washington and Colorado where marijuana is legal recreationally but in Virginia marijuana is still illegal. In 2015 alone there were 20,881 marijuana-related arrests in Virginia, according to the Virginia State Police annual crime report, which accounted for nearly 60% of the drug arrest in the state. McAuliffe has opposed marijuana legalization in the past but most recently signed a bill to allow limited CBD and THC-A oil for patients who suffer epilepsy in Virginia.
Coy said McAuliffe has “never touched a drug in his life.” “He’s cool, but he’s not that cool,” Coy said of McAuliffe.