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P.J. Hairston drug, traffic charges dropped

The misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession and driving without a license that P.J. Hairston faced after his arrest early last month have been dropped, a Durham County clerk of court said on Monday.

Durham police on June 5 stopped Hairston, the North Carolina junior guard, and two passengers at a license checkpoint. After smelling an odor of burnt marijuana emanating from the vehicle, a rented 2013 GMC Yukon, police arrested Hairston and his two passengers and charged them all with misdemeanor marijuana possession.

Hairston, who had been driving the Yukon, was also charged with driving without a license. A court clerk said he had produced his license, which led to the dismissal of that charge. Hairston also completed a state drug assessment program, the clerk said, and that led to the dismissal of the marijuana possession charge.

Though his legal issues appear over, Hairston, who led the Tar Heels in scoring last season, still faces questions about how he obtained the rented Yukon. He told police after his arrest that he received it from “Fats” – a reference to Haydn “Fats” Thomas, a Durham resident and convicted felon who faces felony drug and gun charges.

The rental receipt associated with the vehicle confirmed that Thomas paid for it. Before his arrest early last month, Hairston also received a speeding ticket in another rental car that has been linked to Thomas.

Using a rental car paid for by another person could be considered an impermissible benefit under NCAA rules. If so, Hairston could face an NCAA-mandated suspension in addition to whatever punishment he might face from UNC coach Roy Williams, who last week said Hairston would face “serious consequences” for his actions.

“P.J. and I have had several discussions already and he knows he has made serious mistakes and there will be serious consequences as a result,” Williams said in a statement. “Certainly the idea of suspending P.J. has been discussed.

“However, he is not currently enrolled in summer school, is not practicing with the team and we have no games until November. There are several options available in terms of discipline but we are going to wait until the process is complete to decide on those options.”

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