Published Dec 04, 2019Willie Nelson was forced to cancel a tour this past August due to breathing problems, but now his health issues have done the unthinkable — the country icon has stopped smoking cannabis entirely.
"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," Nelson explained in conversation with Houston's KSAT TV.
"I started smoking cedar bark, went from that to cigarettes to whatever," he recalled. "And that almost killed me."
Nelson's love of the sweet leaf has been widely recognized, and this year saw him create a line of CBD products for pets. During an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon back in April, the singer-songwriter explained how he felt cannabis had saved his life.
"I used to smoke two or three packs of cigarettes a day and drank whatever there was there to drink and I had pneumonia for or five times, my lung collapsed, I almost died," Nelson recalled. "So I said, 'wait a minute, I ain't getting that high off of Chesterfields' so I throwed out the cigarettes, rolled up 20 joints, stuck it in there, and I haven't had a cigarette since."
Now, Nelson has kicked the habit in an effort to "take better care of myself," he said in the new KSAT TV interview. When asked whether he was bothered by health concerns fuelling rumours of his imminent death, Nelson said, "I don't give a shit — excuse me — I'm here, I'm glad to be here."
Nelson, 86, released his Ride Me Back Home album in June of this year.