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'I Don't Smoke Anymore': Wille Nelson Gives Up Marijuana For Health Reasons

SAN ANTONIO (CBSDFW.COM) - Country music legend Willie Nelson says he's stopped smoking pot -- 65 years after he rolled his first joint.

"I don't smoke anymore. I take better care of myself today than I did then," he said.

The 86-year-old Texan says, due to ongoing health and breathing issues, he no longer smokes marijuana.

In a candid TV interview in San Antonio, Nelson admitted that years of smoking weed has taken a toll on him.

"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. I've mistreated myself since I was this big," the singer said motioning toward the ground. "I started out smoking cedar bark and it went from that to cigarettes, to whatever. And that almost killed me."

This past summer Nelson had to cancel 6 shows on his concert tour because he had "breathing issues."

Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson performs onstage during the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (credit: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)

For decades Nelson has sung the virtues of smoking pot and even has his own line of marijuana products. But the singer said he made the decision to quit for good and focus on performing. He was just in North Texas in November -- performing a sold-out show at Billy Bob's Texas -- and also took the stage at the CMA Awards in Nashville.

Elaine Schock, Nelson's publicist, later clarified that while the singer has stopped smoking pot he still uses cannabis. She didn't specify what form he uses but pointed out that there are different ways to consume it.

Nelson's health issues have sparked rumors that he's near death and struggling to stay alive. When asked about the comments he said, "I don't give a sh**. Excuse me. I'm here. I'm glad to be here. I'm lucky to be here."

Nelson said he doesn't plan on stopping touring anytime soon and already has dates lined up for 2020.


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