Early reports indicated that Willie Nelson quit smoking cannabis due to breathing issues—but according to his immediate family and company, he still consumes cannabis in edible, oil and vaping forms despite abandoning smoking.
Nelson, at age 86, isn’t in any condition to be smoking copious amounts of cannabis, given his past as a tobacco smoker and drinker. “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 told KSAT, which broke the news. “I started smoking cedar bark, went from that to cigarettes to whatever. And that almost killed me.”
“I don’t smoke anymore,” adding that he aims to “take better care of myself,” Nelson said. The rebel country legend is generally known for his affinity for cannabis as a substance less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco.
For a moment, it appeared to conflict with the integrity of Nelson’s popular cannabis line WILLIE’S RESERVE. But the artist’s son and former CULTURE cover celebrity Lukas Nelson clarified on Twitter that his father still eats edibles, vapes and consumes gummies and oil drops that are infused with cannabis.
There is a lot of articles going around saying my father is no longer smoking weed. It’s almost 2020, how people ingest cannabis has changed. Between vaping, edibles, gummies, drops, etc. I think it’s safe to say Willie will never stop enjoying Mary Jane!
— Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real (@lukasnelson) December 4, 2019
Other forms of delivery don’t involve inhaling smoke into the lungs, which isn’t good when there are pulmonary issues. Nelson’s company WILLIE’S RESERVE also felt the need to clarify, tweeting “No pigs in the sky, Willie’s still getting high!!”
No pigs in the sky, Willie’s still getting high!!
AT 86, Willie Nelson demonstrates there’s more than one way to get high. pic.twitter.com/l5JKvNuOs0
— Willie’s Reserve (@WilliesReserve) December 4, 2019
Nelson’s official spokesperson Elaine Schock also confirmed to The Associated Press that some news article titles were slightly misleading, saying “Willie does what he wants, when he wants, when it comes to smoking.”
In 2017, the artist’s wife Annie Nelson launched Annie’s Edibles, her own line of cannabis-infused edibles. Nelson also runs a sister company WILLIE’S REMEDY which focuses on CBD-only products including coffee grounds, teas and tinctures.