On the eve of Willie Nelson’s 84th birthday, the country music legend is still touring, still making music, and still smoking marijuana. On the downsides of marijuana, Nelson commented,
“I haven’t run into any yet. I guess if you go somewhere where it’s illegal, that’s a pretty good downside.”
This is probably news to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has proclaimed marijuana to be as dangerous as heroin. When asked about this comment, Nelson replied,
“I wonder if he’s tried both of them. I don’t think you can really make a statement like that unless you tried it all. So I’d like to suggest to Jeff to try it and then let me know later if he thinks he’s still telling the truth!”
Nelson, a well-known cannabis enthusiast for decades, is on tour promoting his new album God’s Problem Child. As part of the Outlaw Music Festival, Nelson will be on the road with artists like Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Jason Isbell, and two of Nelson’s sons, Lukas and Micah. To keep up with the pace of touring, Nelson will be performing two weeks at a time, followed by a two week break. “It’s the two weeks off that gets kind of long,” he said.
Throughout his career, Willie Nelson has openly consumed marijuana, which earned him a few minor drug charges. In 2010, Nelson was arrested for marijuana possession in Texas at the Sierra Blanca checkpoint. In a no-contest plea, Nelson was fined $500 and received no other penalty, provided he stayed clean for 30 days. The arrest led to his creation of the “Teapot Party” whose motto is, “Tax it, regulate it and legalize it!” Nelson became a dedicated cannabis activist, and now serves as the co-chair of the advisory board for NORML.
In 2015, Nelson branched out and founded Willie’s Reserve, a cannabis company that grew out of his years in the music business, touring the country and receiving plenty of cannabis samples from fans of his music and his tastes. The brand includes products like vape cartridges, flowers and edibles. He says that business is going well, and his wife is involved in product development.
“Annie is on the edible side, and she’s a great chef, and she’s been working in Colorado and all those places where it’s legal.”
Nelson’s thoughts on politics do not end with Sessions. He half-jokingly sells “Willie for President” bumper stickers on his own website and has been on the receiving end of alternative facts, and went so far as to title his new track, Still Not Dead. “I got up two or three times in the past couple of years and read I’d passed away. I just wanted to let ’em know that’s a lot of horseshit.” His political activism has branched out over the years into animal welfare, LGBT rights, environmental protection through promoting alternatives to fossil fuels, and anti-war efforts particularly during the war in Iraq.
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