Last week, country legend Willie Nelson played two shows at San Antonio’s Majestic Theatre and gave an interview to local news station KSAT-TV about touring life and his career-long love affair with cannabis. In the chat, the 86-year-old musician revealed, “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.” Because of that, he’s given up smoking pot: “I don’t smoke anymore [to] take better care of myself,” he explained.
On its face, this is shocking news from a guy who once smoked weed on the roof of the White House with Jimmy Carter’s son. And because there’s no celebrity—save Snoop Dogg or maybe Woody Harrelson—who’s so iconically linked to cannabis use, this revelation has been fodder for a lot of sensational headlines, like Newser’s “A Major Pot Connoisseur Has Given Up Pot,” or Yahoo’s “Willie Nelson says he’s given up marijuana for his health.” Fox News even wrote, “It’s like Michael Jordan retiring from the NBA. It’s like Donald Trump quitting Twitter. It’s like Lindsay Lohan forsaking drama. Willie Nelson has quit weed.”
Looking at the article all these publications are aggregating, the piece says nothing about Nelson cutting off marijuana for good and doesn’t include whether or not he still indulges in jazz cababge in other ways. If Willie Nelson, of all people, told you he quit smoking weed, you’d ask a couple of follow-up questions. But, fortunately and unsurprisingly, none of those headlines are entirely accurate: It seems Willie Nelson is still getting high and using marijuana products like edibles, capsules, tinctures, and other non-smokeable items.
Here it is, folks! VICE reached out to Nelson’s representatives and received a short but sweet statement: “Willie has not quit cannabis.”
Willie Nelson, the lifelong cannabis activist, is still using cannabis. Some things in this world are still certain.