Marijuana Policy Project
Curved Papers

Book Excerpt: 'Dear Cannabis' Letter by Willie Nelson

Dear Cannabis,

What can I say? You saved me, and we both know it. I met you way back in 1954, when a fellow Fort Worth musician asked if I wanted to “blow some tea.” I knew he meant marijuana, but I’d heard stories about what you might do to me. So I turned you down, but my pal gave me a slender joint and told me to smoke it sometime. I gave you a try, but I smoked you like a cigarette and didn’t hold you in my lungs. It took a few times for me to figure it out, but when I did, I had a feeling we’d eventually be friends.

Image via Harper Horizon

Lots of folks said we were doing wrong, but I know love when I see it. And I don’t believe the seeds and flowers that were given to us from a creator are any more illegal than the hops that are used to make beer or the grapes that make wine.

We’ve had quite a run, and they like to make jokes about me and you. They say we tour the county in a cannabus!

"We’ve been pals so long, we’re just smoking each other, getting each other high, and opening ourselves to the possibilities of now."

People say, “When you smoke pot you get high, but when you smoke Willie’s pot, you get Willie high!”

An astronaut came on the bus, and we were talking and laughing, and he said I was the only person he’d met that’d been higher than him.

My pals write songs about getting too high with me. Toby Keith sings, “I’ll never smoke weed with Willie again.” And if we’re on the same bill, he might be smoking weed with me again right after the show.

Comedians make jokes about you and short-term memory, but I can’t remember any of them. I must be high.

If I let a few thoughts slip from my mind, the good news is that the first ones I let go of are the negative thoughts. As I’ve always said, “Don’t think no negative thoughts.”

Cannabis, I suspect you were a little heartbroken when word went around that we broke up. But I think you knew. Just like [his wife] Annie and me, you and I are a couple to the end.

Sometimes people ask me how much of you I’ve smoked, but there’s no answer. We’ve been pals so long, we’re just smoking each other, getting each other high, and opening ourselves to the possibilities of now. I finally got around to writing a love song about the two of us. I love to sing it, and the audiences love to sing it with me. So everyone, all together: “Roll me up and smoke me when I die!”

                                High on a Hill,

Excerpted from Willie Nelson's Letters to America (Harper Horizon). The book was released on June 29.

 

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