If there was a Mount Rushmore but for famous marijuana smokers, the most certain inclusion on that rocky landmark would be Willie Nelson. If you ask a stranger on the street to quickly name one famous person who smokes weed, they’ll probably blurt out Willie Nelson. Nelson, now 86 years old, has been associated with marijuana for decades, but now it looks like his smoking days are behind him.
In a new interview with San Antonio TV station KSAT, Nelson spoke about performing, saying that because he “abused [his] lungs” in the past, he finds it harder to breathe now than he used to. So, he has quit smoking. He said, “Singing out there for an hour is a good workout. You’re lungs are the biggest muscle you got, so when you’re out there working, you’re working out. […] 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. […] I mistreated myself since I was this big. I started smoking cedar bark, went from that to cigarettes to whatever, and that almost killed me. […] I don’t smoke anymore. I take better care of myself now than I did then.”
Addressing rumors that he is “near death,” he responded, “I don’t give a sh*t — excuse me. I’m here, I’m glad to be here, I’m lucky to be here.”
Nelson also spoke about his health in a Rolling Stone interview earlier this year, saying, “I used to smoke two or three packs of cigarettes a day and drank whatever there was there to drink and I had pneumonia for or five times, my lung collapsed, I almost died, so I said, ‘Wait a minute, I ain’t getting that high off of Chesterfields,’ so I threw out the cigarettes, rolled up 20 joints, stuck it in there, and I haven’t had a cigarette since.”
The country legend may be done with smoking, but that doesn’t mean he’s done with marijuana entirely. In that same Rolling Stone feature, he said he eats weed chocolates that his wife makes.