Willie Nelson Hasn't Quit Pot, Just Smoking

The internet is ablaze with rumors that one of the world's most iconic tokens of toking, Willie Nelson, quit smoking weed. For a society increasingly enamored with the emerald cabbage of jazz, this was devastating news. After all, Nelson penned the classic "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die," hinting at the fact that he himself had become one great big piece of weed. 

Thankfully, this news turned out to be mostly smoke and mirrors. The Associated Press reports that it is true Nelson has stopped smoking weed, but he hasn't given up cannabis. In the words of his spokeswoman Elaine Schock, "there are different ways to consume it." Just like potatoes. 

Yes, you can boil it, mash it, stick in a stew, to paraphrase Tolkien's Samwise Gamgee — all of which is easier on the lungs. And when boiled down to its basic elements, that's why Nelson has quit smoking — his lungs need a breather. 

"I have abused my lungs quite a bit in the past," said Nelson, "so breathing is a little more difficult these days and I have to be careful." No kidding.

Nelson still takes the high road

Nelson reports that he's been smoking for decades, and not just the devil's lettuce. "[I] started smoking cedar bark, went from that to cigarettes to whatever." According to Tobacco and Human Efficiency, cedar bark, which was used ceremonially with tobacco by some Native American tribes, is just as harsh as and full of carbon monoxide as your average Joe Camel.

It's nice to see that Nelson values his ability to sing and breathe more than rote cannabis inhalation, and that despite his age, he has no desire to stop touring. 

"I love the bus," he said. "This is my home."

"That said," notes Schock, "Willie does what he wants, when he wants, when it comes to smoking." Perhaps he'll pick it up again, but as long as he's happy, we're happy. And we've still got Snoop Dogg.