Willie Nelson called for the legalization of marijuana in a candid interview in the Guardian. “If we taxed and regulated the drugs the way they do in other parts of the world, we would be far better off,” said the country music legend, who has been active on the issue as co-chair of National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and as founder of the TeaPot Party. The Cosmic Cowboy also spoke eloquently on music, God, and Obama.
Nelson spoke of Washington’s failure to pass significant legislation on weed, despite Connecticut recently becoming the 17th state to decriminalize it. “It’s coming. It has to…” said Nelson, “because economically, we need the money.” When assessing the Obama presidency, Nelson lamented that despite noble aspirations, the president has been predictably restricted by the nature of D.C. politics. “I don’t think the president has as much power as we think he does” he said.
The comments come as Nelson seems to have stepped up his activism on the marijuana in recent months. In March, he was seen campaigning in Oregon for the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act legislation that would allow personal marijuana cultivation and sale. Oregon votes on the measure in July. Last month, appropriately on 4/20, Nelson spoke at an unveiling of statue of him in Austin, with 2,000 locals serenading the folk singer with a chorus of new track “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die”.