Music and Counter Culture Icon Willie Nelson turns 91

Liz Filmer
29 Apr 2024

April 29th sees American Musical legend and Weed Icon Willie Nelson turning 91. However, given his increasing age, Nelson made the surprising yet understandable decision to quit smoking to protect his health about four years ago.

The country music heavyweight and Grammy award-winning artist, whose name is practically interchangeable with weed, has told how he stopped smoking due to respiratory issues.

"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 don't smoke anymore; I take better care of myself" -Willie Nelson.

Nelson is known for his relaxed, laid-back lifestyle and fondness for weed. However, despite quitting smoking himself, he remains a prominent advocate for the legalization of weed, co-chairing the advisory board of the "National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws".

He is also one of countless celebrities to launch their own cannabis-themed business. Willie's Reserve, "a premium cannabis lifestyle brand," was launched in 2016 in partnership with a New York-based private equity firm.

Despite his current respiratory problems, Nelson has long touted what he sees as the overall medical benefits of weed, telling the media that he believes he is still alive today thanks to years of smoking weed.

"I wouldn't be alive. It saved my life. I wouldn't have lived this long if I'd kept drinking and smoking like I was 30, or 40 years old. I think that weed kept me from wanting to kill people. It probably kept a lot of people from wanting to kill me, too — out there drunk, running around."

In past years Nelson has battled pneumonia and emphysema, however, he continues to remain upbeat and brushes off rumours and speculation about his health. "I don't give a f**k, I'm here; I'm glad to be here."

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Liz Filmer