Willie Nelson, iconic country music star and well-known marijuana user, said he thinks President Obama “may be happy” that D.C. voters have chosen to legalize marijuana in the nation’s capital.
Nelson is scheduled to perform Thursday night for veterans at the White House, and infamously claims to have once smoked a joint on top of the presidential mansion after an appearance there during President Jimmy Carter’s administration.
Nelson said in an interview on CNN that he probably wouldn’t bring up the topic Thursday night to Obama, but thinks the president is probably sympathetic to the cause.
Obama wrote about smoking pot in his best-selling book “Dreams of My Father.” In 2012, Washington Post associate editor David Maraniss published a book detailing how Obama and his high-school clique smoked marijuana frequently enough to nickname themselves the “Choom Gang.”
“I think I realize how he feels about it and I’ve read some of his books and things about when he was a kid, how he may have delved into that matter a little bit,” Nelson said. “I’m sure he’s very understanding of what is going on and he may be happy to see it happening.”
As have Alaska and Oregon, voters in D.C. followed Colorado and Washington state into a closely watched experiment to legalize marijuana on Tuesday. Almost 7 in 10 D.C. voters backed an initiative to allow cannabis to be consumed and grown in the nation’s capital.
If Congress does not act to block it, residents and visitors 21 and older will be allowed to legally possess as much as two ounces of marijuana and to grow as many as three marijuana plants at home.
While it’s unclear if the next Republican-controlled Congress will allow the pot measure to take effect, Nelson said he also holds out hope that marijuana could lead to more bipartisan cooperation on Capitol Hill.
“I really think stress is the cause of a lot of our problems, and I really believe the best medicine for stress is pot,” Nelson said. “Yeah, I think that would make us get along better – all over the world.”