RITZVILLE, Wash. – John Popper has been granted a conditional dismissal in a marijuana case that resulted in his arrest in March.
The misdemeanor charge of possession of pot and drug paraphernalia will be dropped if Popper avoids getting caught with marijuana for at least a year, said Deputy Prosecutor Ted Sams, adding that such agreements are common in misdemeanor drug cases in Adams County.
Popper gained fame as a harmonica player and frontman for Blues Traveler. The band won a Grammy Award for the song "Run-Around," which Popper composed.
Popper, 40, of Snohomish, and Brian Gourgeois, 34, of Austin, Texas, who was driving, were arrested and released on their own recognizance March 6 after a state trooper said Popper's Mercedes sport utility vehicle was clocked at 111 mph on Interstate 90 near Ritzville.
The car was searched after the trooper said he smelled marijuana. Besides some pot, more than a dozen firearms were found in the car but were legally owned. A weapons charge over brass knuckles and a knife that were found in the glove box was dropped when Popper agreed to surrender them, Sams said.
Gourgeois was charged with reckless driving and the status of that case remained unclear.
Popper is on tour and couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.
His lawyer, Carl E. Hueber, told The Spokesman-Review of Spokane he wanted to talk with the musician before commenting. A publicist for Popper didn't return a call to the newspaper Wednesday.
The agreement on the pot charge against Popper was reached in April but was only recently disclosed. He is required to undergo eight hours of classroom drug counseling but not any random drug tests.
"If he doesn't receive any similar charges for a year, the charges will be dismissed," Sams said.