While Snoop Dogg, Cheech and Chong, and Woody Harrelson are all well-known for their connection to weed, Willie Nelson is one of the oldest stoners in the public eye.
With over six decades of cannabis consumption under his belt, Nelson is coined as one of the “most legendary” stoners in the United States, according to his Rolling Stone cover. In fact, the famed country singer, songwriter, and guitarist believes the consumption of marijuana may have very well saved his life.
In his Rolling Stone profile for the May 2019 issue, the “Whiskey River” singer recalls the very first time he smoked a joint back in 1954.
“I wouldn’t be alive. It saved my life, really. I wouldn’t have lived 85 years if I’d have kept drinking and smoking like I was when I was 30, 40 years old. I think that weed kept me from wanting to kill people. And probably kept a lot of people from wanting to kill me, too — out there drunk, running around,” Nelson told Rolling Stone as he explained why he believes marijuana is the reason he is still alive.
According to Nelson, marijuana has been his only drug of choice since the late ’70s when he made the decision to ditch cigarettes and whiskey for good. At the time, he had suffered from pneumonia on four different occasions and experienced countless nasty hangovers. Moreover, he was also a notoriously mean drunk. He believed if his vices didn’t kill him, someone would reach their tolerance limit with him while he was drunk.
“I had a pack of 20 Chesterfields, and I threw ’em all away and rolled up 20 fat joints, stuck ’em in there,” he added.
Nelson explained his decision to quit both booze and cigarettes at the same time stemmed from the pair piggybacking off each other as he couldn’t find himself drinking without wanting a smoke and vice versa. He, however, did acknowledge this was just his experience and he couldn’t speak for other people.
Country outlaw legend Willie Nelson inhales deep on his love for cannabis. https://t.co/RK7Ke1BxRI— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) May 3, 2019
Prior to marijuana beginning to become legal across the United States, Willie was never shy about talking up the medicinal benefits to consuming weed as well as the potential economic benefits. He admitted it was “nice” to see society was beginning to accept marijuana. Moreover, he enjoyed people realizing what he had been saying about cannabis for years was true.
“It’s a medicine.”
During his conversation with Rolling Stone, Nelson also jested about how he’d never heard of a single fatality by marijuana.
“Had a friend of mine that said a bale fell on him and hurt him pretty bad, though,” he joked.
The 86-year-old singing sensation firmly believes replacing his addictions to cigarettes and alcohol with marijuana is ultimately what saved his life as his previous vices would have killed him.