Like some of legal cannabis’ biggest opponents, Willie Nelson is declaring war on Big Marijuana.
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The country singer and cannabis/hemp activist also gets so stoned that he often has multiple joints and vape pens going at once — and he hates edibles because of a bad pot cookie experience from 50 years ago.
These are only a few of the tasty nugs we learn about Nelson in a fresh New York Magazine story on the country legend.
But the piece’s most surprising insight? After all these hazy decades, Willie Nelson doesn’t know much about weed.
“Now let’s take a couple hits off that other one and see if we can tell the difference!” Nelson told journalist Wil S. Hylton as they alternated between Sour Diesel and Blue Dream pre-rolls in the singer’s tour bus.
The quote sounds like such a noob thing to say: “Hey, I wonder if we can tell the difference between these two totally different strains of cannabis!” But Nelson’s no noob. He’s one of the most famous tokers on Earth. And yet, as Hylton notes in his story, Nelson doesn’t even know the difference between indica and sativa.
From the New York Mag story:
We spent the next hour burning down joints and a collection of vaporizer cartridges filled with marijuana concentrate, but the more we smoked and talked about smoking, the more I began to realize that Nelson knew almost nothing about the plant. He really wasn’t sure what kind of weed we were smoking or how the various strains might differ from one another. He had never put a cannabis seed in the ground and didn’t intend to. “Why should I grow if this guy over here, or that guy, already has it?” he asked. He also didn’t have much interest in the profusion of pot cookies, candies, and soft drinks that have been turning up in the legal states. “I don’t like edibles that much,” he said with a shrug. “I had a bad experience the first time I did it. This was 50 years ago. I ate a bunch of cookies, and I lay there all night thinking the flesh was falling off my bones.” He wasn’t even sure about the difference between the two major forms of cannabis, indica and sativa. These are commonly said to have different psychoactive effects, the first being more like a narcotic and the second being more energetic, but when I mentioned these things to Nelson, he just laughed. “I haven’t become all that expert on that,” he said. “The way I look at it is: I’m either high or I’m not.”
It reminds us of when rapper Wiz Khalifa said of indicas, “It wakes you up” — baffling the weed-loving masses who know that energetic sativas wake you up while narcotic indicas keep you “in-da-couch.”
Nelson’s lack of nug knowledge wasn’t lost on journalist Hylton:
This discovery frankly thrilled me. Too many pot smokers these days have gotten fussy about their weed. In the same way that modern foodies have eroded the simplicity of homegrown food, leaving behind its rustic roots for a universe of prickly, esoteric greens and incomprehensibly expensive mushrooms, turning local food into a temple for snobs and picky eaters, I have noticed a similar tendency creeping into the conversation around pot — with inflated descriptions of bud density, room-note, fruity undertones, and heritage genetics, usually proffered in the grandiose vocabulary of the dismal jerk who flips out over wine. Nelson was after something simpler. He just liked getting high. He may be one of the most famous stoners on Earth, with a tolerance to fell giants, but he is not, strictly speaking, a marijuana connoisseur.