Rappers Paul Wall, Baby Bash Face Life In Jail Over 'Marijuana Party'

By McCarton Ackerman 12/28/16

Baby Bash says that the rappers were hosting a weed smoke-out which got out of control and was blown out of proportion by the press. 

Paul Wall and Baby Bash mugshots
Paul Wall and Baby Bash Photo via YouTube

Rappers Baby Bash and Paul Wall received a less than ideal early Christmas present this holiday season: felony drug charges and the possibility of a life sentence.

The Houston Chronicle reported that Bash (aka Ronnie Rey Bryant) and Wall (aka Paul Michael Slayton) were arrested on Dec. 23 at a "marijuana party" in Houston and charged with felony intent to distribute between 4 and 400 grams of a controlled substance. If convicted of the first-degree felony, the two could face life in prison.

Both men were released after posting $20,000 bond and agreeing to abstain from drugs and alcohol while their cases are pending. At least five others were also arrested and have been freed on bail.

Bryant and Slayton appeared in a Houston courtroom on Tuesday (Dec. 27) to address the charges. Bash said the party was a “gathering of the cannabis community,” but Click2Houston reported that the judge in their case called it “engaging in organized, criminal activity.” She ordered their bond to include random drug testing, but Slayton said he’d fail if tested that day because he takes a variety of drugs to deal with chronic back pain including the muscle relaxer Soma and Ativan, which is similar to Xanax. The judge encouraged Slayton to provide the court with proof of valid medical prescriptions.

Despite the possibility of life in prison, the rappers downplayed the incident shortly after their arrest.

“We had like a little smoke-out … and it turned out to be bigger than it was. People had edibles and people had dabs. There was no drugs. They tried to make it like we were big druggies. It was just all marijuana, THC,” Bryant told TMZ. “I want people to know it was basically me and Paul smoking some tree and I guess in Texas, they don’t play that as much as Cali or Colorado. So they arrested us and like I said, ‘Don’t panic, it’s organic.’”

Bryant admitted that the pair should have known a smoke-out would not have been "all good in Texas.” However, he said that Houston police were taking photos with them inside the station and assuring them that marijuana will eventually be legal in Texas.

This isn’t the first time the two rappers have found themselves in trouble over marijuana in the Lone Star State. The pair was arrested for marijuana possession in El Paso in 2011. Both men were quickly released after posting $300 bond. Slayton tweeted about the arrest, excited that he was staying “in the same tank they held Willie Nelson/Johnny Cash.”

Texas has some of the strictest laws in the country when it comes to marijuana. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws reports that possessing just two ounces or less of marijuana can potentially result in a six-month jail sentence and fine of up to $2,000. Possessing four ounces or more of marijuana is considered a felony charge. Possession of less than one gram of hash can result in a possible jail sentence ranging from six months to two years, while even a first offense for sale of marijuana paraphernalia could yield a one-year jail sentence and $4,000 fine.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.