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Why Did Willie Nelson Stop Smoking Weed?

By Jeff Mazzeo

Willie Nelson is a marijuana icon but all good things must come to an end. For the 86-year-old that means giving up something he has loved doing for almost his entire life.

After years of lung-related issues and breathing problems, the legendary country singer was forced to quit smoking to preserve his health.

Last week, Willie sat down with San Antonio news station, KSAT to promote his tour and said that he will not stop touring but he has to stop further potential damage from inhaling the sticky plant.

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No More Marijuana


Willie told the KSAT reporter that he has suffered severe side-effects from smoking.

“I have abused my lungs quite a bit in the past, so breathing is a little more difficult these days and I have to be careful,” Nelson said.

"I started smoking cedar bark, went from that to cigarettes to whatever,” he said. “And that almost killed me.”

“I don’t smoke anymore - take better care of myself," he admitted.

Willie's breathing problems have been the cause of many rumors that the singer was on his death bed but he is alive and kicking and he just can't wait to get "On The Road Again."

He'll Never Quit The Road


Nelson made it clear that music and touring are the things that keep him going.

“I love the bus,” he told KSAT, “This is my home.”

He credits the crowd for keeping him young and fueling his fire, “It’s an energy exchange,” Willie exclaimed when talking about the audience, “They give me a lot of positive energy and I hope to give them a lot of positive energy.”

He continued, “For an hour they get away from everything they don’t like.” Willie went on to express how nothing can keep him down, not even his health issues.

“I don’t give a (expletive deleted) I’m here, I’m glad to be here,” and with a smile added “I’m lucky to be here.”

The Mount Rushmore Of Famous Marijuana Smokers


Old Willie Nelson has secured his position as one of the top celebrity advocates for marijuana and despite him hanging up his pipe, he still has his place in the "Mount Rushmore of Marijuana Smokers" locked down.

Nelson is a co-chair of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and has worked with the organization for years to legalize the plant nationwide.

Which other celebrities have earned the right to be mentioned with the likes of Willie? Tommy Chong, Snoop Dogg, and Whoopie Goldberg are some very strong candidates.

Chong pushed the envelope for years with his comedic approach to normalizing marijuana use with films like, "Up In Smoke" and "Still Smoking" and even spent time behind bars for selling bongs. He was sentenced to 9 months in federal prison, a fine of $20,000, forfeiture of $103,514, and the loss of all merchandise seized during the raid of his business.

The Dogfather is probably the most recognized smoker of all time and is known for his constant smoking.

Whoopie loves to consume marijuana via vape pen and even wrote an op-ed piece for the advocate magazine, The Cannabist.

Who do you think should be on the Marijuana Mount Rushmore?

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