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Willie Nelson Talks To AARP About Marijuana

willie nelson today show matt lauer

(via today show)

Willie Nelson is an American legend. Willie Nelson has fans from all walks of life, but especially among senior citizens. My grandma doesn’t consume marijuana, but is pro-marijuana reform mainly because Willie Nelson supports it. I know that she’s not alone. That’s why it’s huge that Willie Nelson recently provided the following quote to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP):

I’ll probably take a couple of hits before or after the show tonight. It relaxes me, and the medicinal form of pot can cure everything from stress to cancer. It’s a shame that it was thrown in with the other hard drugs. Now that the legalization has proven successful in Colorado and in Washington state, it’s just a matter of time before it’s legal everywhere. There’s a lot of money to be made from it, number one.

Willie provided that quote in an article that covered all kinds of topics. It would have been nice to see him get a full article dedicated to just marijuana, but it’s still significant. How many senior citizens are going to read that? And how many minds are going to be changed as a result? It’s my hope that it’s a significant amount of people. Whereas celebrities like Miley Cyrus try to promote marijuana use without ever supporting the cause in a meaningful way, Willie Nelson has donated a lot of money and time to support reform. Go Willie, you are my hero!


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Johnny Green


  1. My AARP Marijuana Story:

    In 2006 I urged AARP to endorse medical marijuana. I wrote in a letter to them: “With concerns about affordable health care so much in evidence in the “AARP Bulletin” (9/06) it is surprising that AARP has yet to endorse medical marijuana. Marijuana is an amazingly versatile medication that is extraordinarily safe and can be grown at home for pennies. What’s not to like?” No reply from AARP.

    In 2007 I again asked for AARP’s active support for medical marijuana. I pointed out that, “AARP’s own poll from 2004 shows that the majority of AARP members in the U.S. agree that people with serious and terminal medical conditions should be allowed to obtain and use a limited amount of marijuana if recommended by their physician.” Again, no reply from AARP.

    In 2010 I reached out to AARP NJ. I said: “Countless health care professionals, including those represented by the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Public Health Association agree that marijuana is a safe, effective and inexpensive therapeutic agent. It should be available to every patient who can benefit from it. AARP NJ should take the lead in providing information about this as a service to senior citizens.”

    AARP never even had the courtesy to answer me. I then quit AARP, after about ten years of membership. They never got another dime from me.

  2. I had the honor of smoking ‘Willie’s Weed’ in 1996 while recording at Arlyn Studios in Austin Tx which is owned by Willies cousin Charlie. We kept hearing about it during our stay, Then finally right before we left on a our flight Charlie whipped it out, The shit was amazing! I got so high someone gave me a xanax on the way to the airport ‘ I do not like flying”. I never got to meet Willie but I met and got to work with some amazing musicians while in Austin including members of Eric Johnsons Band. Great memories for sure

  3. Come senators, congressmen
    Please heed the
    Don’t stand in the doorway
    Don’t block up the hall
    For he that
    gets hurt
    Will be he who has stalled
    There’s a battle outside
    And it is
    It’ll soon shake your windows
    And rattle your walls
    For the
    times they are a-changin’.
    Sir Robert Dylan

  4. Michael what is Rick Simpson oil. My parents are in the low 80 and have some health issues I do what ever I can for them. I almost had them willing to try something herbal. But they are afraid of the uncaring laws and some police here in Michigan. We have med. marijuana laws here but as of now do not offer enough patient protection. But maybe an oil I could talk the into.

  5. Tim I will join you and willie and Jimmy B.
    I bet they would have some incredible stories to tell.

  6. Michael J. Kaer on

    More seniors would use it if it was legal. My Dad has Glaucoma for God’s sake! He NEEDS to be smoking it but refuses.

  7. I remember the Summer of Love. For me it was the winter of my discontent but that’s a story for another time. I keep hearing about how seniors are against grass. My peers and I used weed back in the day. As we married and started families we put away marijuana. Now most of us have raised our families and have retired. We have started collecting the chronic conditions that come with aging, we have nothing left to prove and our time is our own. Many of us have returned to cannabis use both medically and recreationally. Even in my day Refer Madness was considered laughable. No one I knew then was afraid that they would run amuck run over people in traffic and sell our souls and bodies to get the devil’s weed. We are grown ups; we expect our government to lie to us about anything that doesn’t suit it and the military industrial complex. I am not surprised to find seniors who are pro marijuana. Ours was the age of Aquarius. Now with nothing to lose and nothing to prove; there are tons of old folks coming out of the late night toker closet into the light. The best metaphor I have been shown for pot smoking is masturbation. Everyone does it but nobody speaks of it. I never thought I would see this day; but, as the tide shifts I expect to see many of my peers step into view; perhaps quietly at first and then more vocally.

  8. I’m old and retired and love weed. Too bad your parents are not rebels as I’ve always broken the law using cannabis since I was 16. Unjust laws need to be broken over and over and…

  9. Michael J. Kaer on

    My Dad just turned 84. He has friends about the same age or older. Mom is a few years younger. I make infused olive oil and Glycerin tincture among other things. They use it on their hands and other parts of their body that has pain. I would love to be able to get dad to use a vapourizer or one of these new E-pens, it would take his pain down quickly. So far no go. Oils and the Glycerin for now is better than nothing. They love Willie’s music and love the fact that he is pro-cannabis. What changed things for my parents is the fact I made up a batch of Rick Simpson Oil and cured my brother’s cancer. That changes things! My aunt had cancer of the nose and the oil cured that too. Seniors KNOW it is good they just hate that it is illegal…

  10. I was 10 in 1962 and 18 in 1970. The late 60’s to early seventies found a vast majority of college bound to late high school kids smoking lids of weed, in my experience. There was an explosion of politically molded music. Magnificent. So now I’m 61 and a part of me LIVES back there in 1970 in my first year of college and on. I am a pre-senior and know that medical marijuana is a Godsend and legalization must come soon. Sing me a song saying “Question Authority” sweet Willie Nelson.

  11. Willie Nelsone is not from my generation but my parents enjoy his music and some songs I know. I enjoy rock spanning 50 + years. As long as I can remember Willie Nelson has always been a genuine person who openly stand up for something he believed in. He has never acted better than anyone even considering his lifetime of fame. Personaly I believe that his Paragraph in AARP will do a lot of good. A lot of farmers think a lot of Wiile and what he did for farm aid. It would be nice if Willie Nelson was interviewed by some other magazine or news agency

  12. I remember the 60’s and I WAS there. It was the best of times and the worst of times to borrow from Mr. Dickens.

  13. Too many people don’t seem to understand the shifting of seniors. More and more the hippies of the 60’s are now seniors.

  14. Tony Cosmo Lucero on

    Listen to stardust some night on your back porch stoned or even sober to the gills and tell me that does not affect you on some emotional level? Consider the stars about you the significance/insignificance of your life and loves and if you are from the human race and non-alien as you imply then I can’t see how it could not. To me Willie is a gift to our times and just something special to embrace. Also consider that Reffer Madness came out in 1936 that was 78 years ago so if you where say a teenager of 15 you would be 93 years old today. Those generation you are reffering to are mostly gone now. The seniors of today are more likely to have been born after world war 2 ended and most experminted with cannabis at least if you believe the 60’s hippies happaned.

  15. While I’m not personally a fan of Willie Nelson’s music, I do appreciate his efforts and being so outspoken on the topic of Cannabis. I’ve been really shocked to see how much momentum Cannabis is gathering among seniors, considering they were the ones who really got blasted with the “Reefer Madness” propaganda. It seems like the resistance is mostly with the middle aged, while the young and the seniors are pro Cannabis. Strange.

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