BY KRISTIN M. HALL
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — 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, Tennessee. “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 President-elect 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 two-hour 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.”