Wil­lie Nel­son: Pot’s on road to ac­cep­tance

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - By Kristin M. Hall Kristin M. Hall is an As­so­ci­ated Press writer.

NASHVILLE — Wil­lie Nel­son wants his friend Loretta Lynn, who re­cently re­vealed that she tried mar­i­juana for the first time at the age of 84 for her glau­coma but didn’t like it, to give pot a se­cond chance.

“She’s got a lot of guts,” Nel­son said dur­ing a re­cent in­ter­view with the As­so­ci­ated Press in Nashville. “She’ll try any­thing. Maybe I should help her.”

The 83-year-old out­law coun­try icon ac­tu­ally wants to help a lot of peo­ple give mar­i­juana a try. He’s at­tached his name to a line of le­gal mar­i­juana be­ing sold in Colorado and Washington called Wil­lie’s Re­serve, af­ter decades of per­son­ally ad­vo­cat­ing for the le­gal­iza­tion of mar­i­juana.

The in­com­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion un­der Pres­i­den­t­elect Don­ald Trump has some ad­vo­cates fear­ful of a fed­eral crack­down on the states that have le­gal­ized mar­i­juana for med­i­cal or re­cre­ational pur­poses. Trump’s nom­i­nee for at­tor­ney gen­eral, Jeff Ses­sions, has said weed should not be le­gal­ized.

But the “Crazy” song­writer re­mains hope­ful for his lat­est busi­ness ven­ture un­der the new Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“I think peo­ple would be smarter than that,” Nel­son said. “You look and see the ben­e­fits. You weigh them against the things that might pos­si­bly hap­pen. I think mar­i­juana is prob­a­bly the safest medicine you can take. These new guys that are com­ing in there try­ing to shut it down, I don’t think they will be suc­cess­ful. Peo­ple will say, ‘Hey wait a minute. Heroin, co­caine, OK. But it grows in the ground. It seems to be nor­mal. Let it alone.’”

The singer-song­writer be­hind hits such as “On the Road Again” and “Al­ways On My Mind” will have a new al­bum out this spring called “God’s Prob­lem Child,” with his long­time pro­ducer, Buddy Can­non. The al­bum fea­tures a song writ­ten by Can­non’s 92-year-old mother and in­cludes some of the last record­ings by mu­si­cian Leon Rus­sell, who died in Novem­ber.

Be­cause Nel­son main­tains a rig­or­ous tour­ing sched­ule through­out the year, Nel­son and Can­non co-write their songs via text mes­sages.

“I can come up with a few lines, send them to him and he’ll come up with an­other one,” Nel­son said. “The next thing you know, he’ll go into the stu­dio and put a melody to it and record it and then put his voice on there. Then when I get a chance, I put my voice on there and it seems to be work­ing.”

In the mean­time, fans can hear a new song from Nel­son in a film he’s star­ring in called “Lost in London Live,” di­rected by and also star­ring Nel­son’s friend Woody Har­rel­son. The roughly twohour film will be shot in mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions in London in a sin­gle take and will be live-streamed in real time to over 500 movie the­aters in the United States on the evening of Jan. 19, the first time a film has been live-streamed to movie the­aters as it’s be­ing shot.

Nel­son said he’ll be per­form­ing the song live dur­ing the film.

“He has some idea about do­ing it live,” said Nel­son. “That’s pretty ballsy, I think.”

Mark Humphrey / As­so­ci­ated Press

Wil­lie Nel­son per­forms in Nashville. The 83-year-old out­law coun­try icon is a pot pros­e­ly­tizer.

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