Willie Nelson is the nation's most famous pot smoker. (Sorry Snoop.) You may not be able to toke with him at his 4th of July picnic, but thankfully you'll have a chance to smoke his weed. Starting this month, his long-anticipated brand of cannabis, Willie's Reserve, will be for sale to the public.
Not in Texas, of course. Not for now, anyway.
For now, Willie's Reserve is only getting rolled out in Washington and, starting next month, Colorado, the first two states to legalize marijuana in 2012. Nelson and his Family band are celebrating the debut of his "premium cannabis brand" with shows in both states this month.
"I always knew that marijuana would be legalized," said Nelson, writer of the book, album and song, Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die, in a press release. "I just never thought it would be in my lifetime."
Willie's Reserve is marketed as sustainably grown, which is pretty much what you'd expect from a lifelong weed advocate and country hippie like Nelson — who, remember, was one of the driving forces behind Farm Aid, more than 30 years ago.
"I am also committed to have our crops farmed in an environmentally responsible way; to revitalize small farms and to grow it as clean as possible," Nelson said in the release. "So far, I've really enjoyed meeting with the best growers."
It's been a labor of love; plans for Willie's Reserve were announced over a year ago. But Nelson also pointed out that he's concerned with more than simply having really good, environmentally friendly weed; helping those who have fallen victim to the sacred herb's criminalization is also foremost on his mind.
"I've smoked enough and I want to give back," Nelson said in the release. "Now that legalization is spreading across the country, there's a great opportunity to build a company that can help a lot of people. I hope it gives social justice to those who are incarcerated for doing what we're now doing legally."
Speaking of that whole legalization thing: Weed still isn't legal in Texas, which means Nelson's home state isn't in the immediate pipeline for Willie's Reserve's future expansion. But there's reason to hope that it will be before too long. Hopefully even in Nelson's lifetime.
"High-THC marijuana, either for medicine or pleasure, isn’t legal here yet," Patrick Williams wrote last March, for the Dallas Observer . "But it’s coming, advocates say, perhaps sooner than many people expect — maybe by 2019. Maybe sooner. Five years at the outside. Reformers insist that isn’t a pipe dream, and please don’t ask what they’re smoking. Stoner jokes are passé."
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