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Willie Nelson's Rep: He Hasn't Given Up Weed

Willie Nelson in the studio with joint

In new interview with San Antonio radio station KSAT, Willie Nelson says, "I don’t smoke anymore."

It's unclear if he's referring to marijuana or tobacco (he gave up the latter decades ago), but the headline hypes:

Willie Nelson Says He's No Longer Smoking Marijuana Due to Breathing Issues

In the article, interviewer Paul Venema writes: "Years of smoking marijuana, the country music legend admits, has taken a toll on his health."

Indeed, Nelson canceled six shows in August due to a breathing problem. The legendary country singer suffers from emphysema.

Yet he continues to tour six months out of the year, playing sets for his loyal fans. 

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

"It didn’t," Venema explains, "so he made a decision."

Here's the key line in the article:

“I don’t smoke anymore - take better care of myself,” Nelson, who is 86, commented.

Nelson's press representative Elaine Shock initially told CelebStoner, "Willie does what he wants."

"Does Willie only vape at this point?" we asked.

"I don't know for sure," she replied.

Three days later, when the story hit TMZ and CNN, Shock refuted it on Facebook: "Look, I don't care who says what, Willie hasn't given up weed. We can still listen to 'Weed With Willie' and relate to the song. Willie is the chief tasting officer at Willie’s Reserve and that includes flowers."

Nelson, of course, is famous for his efforts to legalize marijuana and for his prodigious use of the plant. One of his songs is titled "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die."

He recently received his 52nd Grammy nomination for "Ride Me Back Home," the title track of his 2019 album, in the Best Country Solo Performance category. Nelson has won nine Grammy Awards over the years.

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.