POST CATEGORY: Highly Likely

How Willie Nelson Learned to Love Cannabis

June 05, 2017 | PacerStacktrain

"Weed calmed me. Liquor made me reckless. Weed made me careful."


willie-nelson-cutout-1.jpgEven if you’re just remotely familiar with Willie Nelson you probably already know he’s a Cannabis advocate and consumer.

There’s also no denying that Willie Nelson is a musical genius. He started writing songs in his hometown of Abbott, Texas at age 7 – and joined his first band at 10 years old. Throughout his career, he’s won almost every accolade imaginable – from Grammy awards to Kennedy Center honors. He’s a revolutionary country artist that helped define and create the outlaw sounds of the 1960s and 1970s and straddled multiple genres from jazz to classical music. Strangely enough, Nelson was a bit of a late-comer to Cannabis. 

In his recent memoir “It’s a Long Story,” Nelson said that propaganda prevented him from consuming the plant  in his younger years “I was a hick from Abbott. I’d seen ‘Reefer Madness,’ and I was a little worried that a little pot might get me crazy. Wasn’t I crazy enough?”

It wasn’t until the early 70s when Nelson was in his late thirties that he started to embrace the “hippy lifestyle” and smoke with more frequency.

While Cannabis didn’t change his sound all that much, it changed his attitude, and his audience significantly. “I liked that [the kids] had courage to look and act any damn way they pleased,” he writes. 

“The new world represented by the Grateful Dead or the Jefferson Airplane was new only in appearance. [It] appealed to me because it was bold and creative and said to the world, ‘To hell with what you think. I’ll dress any way I please.’ ”

These new revelations led to Nelson’s most critically-acclaimed and popular period of his career. In 1975, he recorded his seminal “Red Headed Stranger” which would set the stage for his most successful recordings and stage appearances to come.

Always one to speak his mind, Willie Nelson never shied away from the spotlight: “My love affair with pot became a long-term marriage,” he writes. “It was, by far, the smoothest of all my marriages. As I moved closer to the Woodstock Nation, as I bore witness to their music-loving, life-loving, peace-loving ways, I saw the key role played by pot. Pot was a communal experience,” he writes. “Weed calmed me. Liquor made me reckless. Weed made me careful.”

From smoking on top of the White House roof during the Carter administration, to sharing a joint with Snoop Dogg, Toby Keith or Dave Matthews or acting in “Half Baked” smoking a joint with Dave Chappelle – Willie Nelson has become one of the most high-profile Cannabis advocates in popular culture today.

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