LONDON -- Linda McCartney, American-born wife of singer Paul McCartney, was fined $105 Tuesday on her second marijuana conviction in eight days but shrugged off the case as 'much ado about nothing.'
Ex-Beatle Paul, who watched the 12-minute court proceedings from the public gallery, said the cause for decriminalization of marijuana, which he supports, was gaining strength.
'It is 20 years since the sixties,' said McCartney whose first drug conviction dates back to 1972.
In the Uxbridge magistrates court, the blond Linda, 42, pleaded guilty to carrying about five grams of cannabis in her bags last week when she and Paul flew into Britain from the Caribbean island of Barbados where they had been vacationing.
That vacation was cut short because they were both fined for possessing marijuana there as well.
Mrs. McCartney faced a maximum penalty of up to three months in jail but got off with the relatively light fine. 'My quote is 'Much ado about nothing,'' the mother of four said after the court session.
'It's a bit pathetic,' Mrs. McCartney also said. 'It's a nothing thing. I don't want to promote it. I'm a big girl now.'
On Jan. 15, police in Barbados searched a house where the McCartneys and their four children had been vacationing and found a small quantity of cannabis.
The next day the couple pleaded guilty in court to marijuana possession, paid a $100 fine each and then flew back to Britain.
At Heathrow Airport outside London, customs officers found more marijuana in a film cannister among Mrs. McCartney's bags.
In court, defense attorney Edwin Glasgow said Mrs. McCartney thought Barbados police had searched her bags thoroughly and she had not checked them herself.
Once back in London, McCartney had said he liked marijuana and that the substance was less harmful than whiskey and glue sniffing.
After Tuesday's trial, the musician said 'The case for decriminalization is pretty strong and a fair amoung of law enforcement officers tend to agree with that themselves.'
McCartney's latest hit song 'Pipes of Peace' has been No. 1 in recent weeks on British pop charts.