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Episode 317

Canadian drug charges and trial of Jimi Hendrix
Sat, 2018-Mar-17 00:10 UTC
Length - 3:38

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Welcome to random Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of a random Wikipedia page every day.

The random article for Saturday, 17 March 2018 is Canadian drug charges and trial of Jimi Hendrix.

In 1969, American rock musician Jimi Hendrix, who was then at the height of his career, was arrested, tried, and acquitted in Canada for drug possession.

On May 3, 1969, customs agents at Toronto International Airport detained Hendrix after finding a small amount of what they suspected to be heroin and hashish in his luggage. Four hours later, after a mobile lab confirmed what had been found, he was formally charged with drug possession. Released on $10,000 bail, Hendrix was required to return on May 5 for an arraignment hearing. During a performance at Maple Leaf Gardens later that night, he displayed a jovial attitude, joking with the audience and singing a few lines of mock opera for comedic effect.

At a preliminary hearing on June 19, Judge Robert Taylor set a date for December 8, at which Hendrix would stand trial for two counts of illegal possession of narcotics, for which he faced as many as 20 years in prison. While there was no question as to whether the drugs were in Hendrix's luggage, in order for the Crown to prove possession they had to show that he knew they were there. In his cross-examination of Canadian customs officials, defense attorney John O'Driscoll raised doubts about whether the narcotics belonged to Hendrix, who had no drug paraphernalia in his luggage or needle tracks on his arms. After a trial that lasted for three days, the jury deliberated for 8 hours before returning a not guilty verdict, acquitting Hendrix of both charges.

The incident proved stressful for Hendrix, and it weighed heavily on his mind during the seven months that he awaited trial. Two weeks after the arrest, he told his friend, journalist Sharon Lawrence, that his fear of needles discouraged him from using heroin and that associating with junkies had convinced him it was not a drug he wanted to use. Both of Hendrix's Experience bandmates, Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding, later stated that they had been warned about a planned drug bust the day before flying to Toronto and they believed that drugs had been planted in Hendrix's bag. Although Hendrix was one of the biggest stars in North America at the time, and the world's highest-paid performer, only a couple of Toronto newspapers carried the story. His public relations manager, Michael Goldstein, later revealed that he bribed a member of the Associated Press with a case of liquor in an effort to prevent the story from going out on the news wire.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:10 UTC on Saturday, 17 March 2018.

For the full current version of the article, go to

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These podcasts are produced by Abulsme Productions based on Wikipedia content.

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Abulsme Productions also produces Curmudgeon's Corner, a current events podcast.

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