Texas Road House Supports Willie

Texas Roadhouse still backs Nelson despite pot charge

By Alex Davis, the Courier-Journall

A day after country star Willie Nelson was issued misdemeanor citations for possession of narcotic mushrooms and marijuana, a spokesman for Louisville-based Texas Roadhouse said the incident won’t change the company’s promotional ties to the musician.

Four others also received citations after a commercial vehicle inspection of Nelson’s tour bus on Monday on a Louisiana highway, state police said in a news release.

 

“When the door was opened and the trooper began to speak to the driver, he smelled the strong odor of marijuana,” the news release said. A search of the bus produced 1½ pounds of marijuana and slightly more than 3 ounces of narcotic mushrooms.

Texas Roadhouse has sponsored Nelson’s tour for the last two years, and it has a “Willie’s Corner” booth in each of its restaurants with photos, a neon sign and other memorabilia. Texas Roadhouse said in a statement yesterday that Nelson, 73, is not a paid spokesman for the chain, but rather a “frequent guest” and a partner in two Austin, Texas, restaurants.

“While Texas Roadhouse does not condone or endorse the use of illegal drugs, Willie is still a great friend and this incident won’t affect our relationship with him,” the statement read.

State police spokesman Willie Williams said there were enough drugs to merit a felony charge of distribution if they had been found in one person’s possession. But all five claimed the drugs as their own and the drugs were not packaged for resale, so each person was charged with misdemeanors, he said. All were released after the citations were issued.

Also cited Monday were Tony Sizemore, 59, of St. Cloud, Fla.; Bobbie Nelson, 75, of Briarcliff, Texas; Gates Moore, 54, of Austin, Texas; and David Anderson, 50, of Dallas.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Reporter Alex Davis can be reached at (502) 582-4644.

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