It’s official, the maestro of marijuana, the prince of pot, the king of cannabis has thrown in the towel. Well, actually the roach clip. In a recent interview with KSAT Willie Nelson said that he has stopped smoking marijuana due to his health. “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,” the Grammy-winning artist said. “I started smoking cedar bark, went from that to cigarettes to whatever… And that almost killed me.”
Nelson had to take a break from a tour in August because of a “breathing problem.” He also canceled his appearance at the Outlaw Music Festival in June due to illness. Despite his recent health issues, including battles with pneumonia and emphysema, Nelson has no intentions of quitting touring and last month announced 15 tour dates that will begin in early January.
Here’s what Nelson told The Cannabist in 2018 about how he started smoking weed: “I had emphysema, had all kinds of different health problems caused by drinking and smoking,” he says. “So I decided I wasn’t getting high from smoking cigarettes, and I had a pack of Chesterfields, so I took them all out, threw them away, rolled up 20 big, fat numbers, stuck them into the Chesterfield pack and I haven’t smoked a cigarette since. And that’s been 30, 40 years ago.”