ROLLING STONES: Jagger Remembers Drug Arrest


For all the peace and good hippie vibes of 1967, the "Summer of Love" will always hold a different meaning for Mick Jagger.

In February 1967, he and Keith Richards were arrested at Keith's home and charged with drug possession. Jagger had four amphetamine pills, which he bought legally in Italy but required a prescription in England. In June he was sentenced to three months in jail.

Speaking recently to The Times of London about that incident, Jagger said, "I wasn’t so full of it that I thought, ‘Oh, they’ll never put me in prison.’ It was the opposite.”

Jagger was tossed in the clink, but only for one day, thanks in part to an editorial in the Times that read, "Mr. Jagger’s is about as mild a drug case as can ever have been brought before the courts. It should be the particular quality of British justice to ensure that Mr. Jagger is treated exactly the same as anyone else, no better and no worse . . . There must remain a suspicion in this case that Mr. Jagger received a more severe sentence than would have been thought proper for any purely anonymous young man.” The editorial famously quoted an 18th century phrase, "Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?"

Jagger was quickly released. "That editorial got me out jail," he says. "One day it dropped, and the next thing I was out.

"The Times editorial was something to be reckoned with. There’s no real equivalent today — today you’d have to have a mass onslaught on social media or something, but in those days The Times had an impact that meant people had to actually say, ‘OK, this is something that the actual establishment press is saying.’ [Times editor William Rees-Mogg] was really pointing out the hysteria of the rest of the press and the justice system in general and he was saying, ‘Come on guys, this is just not English fair play kind of thing.'”

Turning to the contemporary use of drugs, Jagger says, "Certainly we still have huge drug problems. And we haven’t come up with that many solutions . . . It’s not something you want to do all the time, that’s what I say."

Source: Times of London

Lisa Berigan

Lisa Berigan

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