Grammy Winner Arrested for Pot Possession 

Grammy Winner Arrested for Pot Possession 
Posted by CN Staff on May 13, 2002 at 15:48:45 PT
By Michael Vasquez and David Green
Source: Miami Herald
Dionne Warwick, the five-time Grammy award winner and former pitchwoman for the Psychic Friends Network, was arrested Sunday after screeners at Miami International Airport found 11 marijuana joints in a silver lipstick vial in her carry on.Warwick, 61, was charged with possession of fewer than five grams of marijuana. Instead of taking the one-time Solid Gold host away in handcuffs, police allowed her to sign an affidavit promising to appear in court.
''It's medicinal,'' said Ruth Bowen, a theatrical agent and friend of Warwick's who answered the door at a Miami Beach condo where Warwick told police she had been staying.Bowen explained that the singer uses marijuana to treat glaucoma. ''She's not a drug abuser,'' she said.Many advocates of legalizing marijuana for medical use say the drug helps relieve the elevated eye pressure caused by the disease. Marijuana also has been touted as an effective treatment for pain by AIDS and cancer patients.A spokesperson for Warwick could not be reached for comment.Warwick was in South Florida to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the American Red Ribbon Awards ceremony, which benefits Broward County's largest HIV/AIDS service organization, Community Healthcare CenterOne. The Saturday evening event at the Westin Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood recognized leaders in the fight against AIDS.The award has been presented in past years to Liza Minnelli, Phil Donahue, Carol Channing and Arthur Ashe. A spokeswoman for the event declined to comment.The incident Sunday began about 7:30 a.m. when officers were summoned to a screening point at Concourse D.Airport officials said there is no special policy for screening celebrities -- everyone goes through the same search process.Baggage screeners told officers they had found a ''suspicious item'' inside Warwick's bag. Police said they found 11 joints tucked in Warwick's lipstick container.The singer missed her plane -- American Airlines Flight 906 to Los Angeles. She left on a later plane, Bowen said.Warwick, a gospel singer in her teens, originally planned to be a public-school music teacher. But an early collaboration with Burt Bacharach and Hal David catapulted her to fame.Her first hit, Don't Make Me Over, inched to the No. 21 position on the Billboard chart in 1962. She continued having Top 40 hits throughout the next three decades. They included Walk on By, I Say A Little Prayer, Do You Know the Way to San Jose?, A House is Not a Home, I'll Never Fall In Love Again, Alfie, Deja Vu and Heartbreaker.Warwick has a long history of charitable work. Her Grammy-winning single That's What Friends are For -- a collaboration with Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Gladys Knight -- raised millions of dollars for AIDS research.She is currently working on an effort to create a set of history books that tell about the African-American experience.She last performed at a large venue in South Florida on Feb. 21, when she appeared at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale.Younger fans know her as the spokeswoman for the Psychic Friends Network and as the cousin of pop diva Whitney Houston.Houston had a similar run-in with airport security in Hawaii in January 2000, when security guards at Keahole-Kona International Airport searched her handbag and found marijuana in two plastic baggies and three partially smoked joints.Houston's charge was dropped a year later. Warwick, charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, could face up to 364 days in jail if convicted.Herald staff writer Luisa Yanez contributed to this report. Complete Title: Grammy Winner Arrested for Pot Possession at AirportSource: Miami Herald (FL)Author: Michael Vasquez and David GreenPublished: Monday, May 13, 2002  Copyright: 2002 The Miami HeraldContact: heralded herald.comWebsite: Related Articles: Houston Pot Fiasco Finished Whitney Houston Rules
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