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Tuesday, 18 January, 2000, 11:54 GMT
Police probe Whitney drugs claim
Superstar: Houston is one of the world's biggest-selling artists
Authorities in Hawaii are considering whether to charge pop superstar Whitney Houston after she was allegedly found in possession of a quantity of marijuana.

Hawaii County Prosecutor Jay Kimura said he would wait for the results of a police investigation before deciding whether to take the matter further.

Houston was heading back to San Francisco
He said the most likely charge would be promoting a detrimental drug, an offence which could carry a prison sentence of up to 30 days and a 1,000 (600) fine.

Houston, 36, was stopped on 11 January at Keahole-Kona International Airport security checkpoint while on her way to board a United Airlines flight to San Francisco.

During a search of her bag, a security officer allegedly found the marijuana and seized the bag.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald of Hilo reported that 15.2 grammes of marijuana was found.

Airport security officers, who can only arrest passengers for crimes related to airport security, told her to stay with them until police arrived, police said.

But Houston left the scene and boarded her flight, which departed about a half hour before police arrived, according to police spokesman William Donham.

Prosecutor Jay Kimura said his office typically does not pursue mainland suspects who are charged with petty misdemeanors such as marijuana possession.

But he said Houston could be served with a summons if she ever returns to the islands and could be arrested if she ignores it.

Once squeaky clean

Houston has been one of the most successful recording artists of the 1980s and 1990s, and her current album, My Love Is Your Love, is nominated for four Grammy awards at next month's ceremony.

She has also starred in films, most famously 1992's The Bodyguard, and 1995's Waiting To Exhale.

A cousin of soul legend Dionne Warwick, she had a squeaky clean image until she married rap star Bobby Brown in 1992. Their marriage has been the source of continued rumours, while Brown had had several brushes with the law.

The couple have also has a previous run-in with the Hawaii authorities.

In 1997, Honolulu police investigated a report that Brown slapped Houston in the face during a quarrel in a car park.

Houston and Brown have one child, Bobbi Kristina, who was born in 1993.


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