Willie Nelson Is Quitting Smoking Weed

Has Willie Nelson finally given up the drug that is nearly synonymous with his legendary music and iconic long braids? The country music icon recently revealed that he doesn't smoke pot anymore as a matter of preserving his health. The 86-year-old, who allegedly once imbibed on the roof of the White House and inspired Toby Keith's hit "I'll Never Smoke Weed With Willie Again," is well known for his love of the drug and even has his own line of marijuana products.

"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," Nelson told KSAT TV in San Antonio, adding, "I don't smoke anymore — [I] take better care of myself."

Although Nelson had to postpone the tail end of his tour in August due to breathing issues, he resumed the trek the next month. "I mistreated myself since I was this big. I started out smoking cedar bark, and it went from that to cigarettes to whatever," he told KSAT. "And that almost killed me."

"I take better care of myself than I did then," he said.

During the CMA Awards last month, Nelson performed "Rainbow Connection" with Kacey Musgraves, pulling through the performance like a pro — although it did appear at one point as if he were struggling for air.

With his old age combined with the temporary tour cancellation, rumors swirled that Nelson was nearing death and struggling to stay alive — a rumor he could care less about. "I don't give a s—," he said, with a curt nod and apology to the camera for using a curse word.

And although he may be spending less time with his favorite substance, he said he has no plans to slow his roll career-wise, telling the news outlet that singing for an hour on stage is the best exercise for his lungs.

"Singing out there for an hour is a good workout. Your lungs are the biggest muscle you've got. So when you're out there working, you are working out." he said.

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After all, what's more thrilling than taking the stage? "It's an energy exchange. They [the fans] give me a lot of good positive energy and I hope I'm giving them a lot of positive energy. And for an hour they get away from everything they don't like."

"I'm here. I'm glad to be here. I'm lucky to be here," Nelson said.