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Saturday, 2 September, 2000, 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK
Hopper avoids drug conviction
Dennis Hopper
Dennis Hopper: Donated $1,000 to Calgary Aids hospice
Actor and film director Dennis Hopper has been given an absolute discharge for possessing cannabis after the judge was asked to ignore his drug-smoking hippie role in the film Easy Rider.

Hopper, 64, pleaded guilty to the charge but was not in court in Calgary, Canada, on Friday.

He had been charged with possession of the drug after he was found to have less than half an ounce of cannabis in two film cannisters at Calgary International Airport in October 1999.

He had travelled to the area to film the movie Knockaround Guys.

The discharge means Hopper will not have a criminal record and will be able to travel to Canada freely.

"In terms of Canadian justice, he got the easiest ride possible," said his Canadian lawyer Eddie Greenspan.

Charity work

Mr Greenspan asked the judge at the Alberta provincial court not to take into account Hopper's character in Easy Rider, the 1969 film about two hippies motorbiking across the United States.

The film also starred Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson.

The judge was instead asked to take into account Hopper's clean criminal record, his charity work with Aids research and other causes, and the fact that he co-operated with authorities.

Hopper has also donated $1,000 (600) to the Calgary Aids hospice.

The actor's film credits include Rebel Without a Cause, Apocalypse Now, and Blue Velvet.

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