Gary Johnson Loses Willie Nelson Endorsement, Toby Keith's "I'll Never Smoke Weed With Willie Again" Comes to Mind

By the Left Coast Rebel

Just caught this via Memeorandum, from country singer Willie Nelson's marijuana advocacy site (emphasis mine):

On Tuesday, the Teapot Party announced our biggest endorsement yet – former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson for the Republican presidential nomination. This was done with great thought. Johnson has been courting the marijuana-reform establishment ever since he was governor from 1995 to 2003. With his position in favor of legalizing marijuana as an acting governor, Johnson was clearly blazing a new path. Since he left office, and especially during the last year, Johnson has attended and spoken at numerous marijuana events, including the NORML Conference, MPP Gala, Cypress Hill Smokeout, High Times Medical Cannabis Awards, Seattle Hempfest, Portland Hempstalk and the Austin Marijuana March & Rally.

Ten days ago, Johnson was in Texas for the Austin Rally. That night, he attended Nelson’s show in New Braunfels, near San Antonio. I set up a meeting between Johnson and Nelson before the show. I wanted them to get to know each other. If Willie approved of Johnson, we would move ahead and endorse him.

Two days later, I received the following email from Nelson about Johnson: “I think we should endorse him.” I informed Johnson’s campaign and they happily provided an “acceptance” quote from the Governor: “I am truly gratified to have the endorsement of such an iconic entertainer, philanthropist, innovator and champion for individual rights as Willie Nelson. Not only is he a superstar talent, he is a bold advocate for social change. Americans are demanding the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams without interference from a heavy-handed government, and Willie Nelson lends a tremendous voice to those demands.”

Yesterday, both the Teapot Party and Gary Johnson 2012 sent out press releases announcing the endorsement. The media immediately jumped on it, with Politico, Fox and Raw Story leading the coverage. We were on a roll.

But not so fast. I sent the press release and coverage links to Nelson. His response took me by surprise: “My position is it too early for me to endorse anyone. And I think every one should vote their own conscience.”

I wrote back reminding him that he had approved the endorsement.

“I know I said that,” Nelson replied. “But I think I will wait and see where he stands on other things. My bad. Sorry. I still think he is a good guy but so Is Dennis and if he decided to run I would personally vote for him. If it came down to either him or Gary I’m already committed to Dennis. They both have said they support legal pot.”

That's pretty high-rolling, high-stakes drama for an endorsement, non-endorsement, don't you think? Could it be that Ol' Willie was sampling too much of the hair-of-the-dog when he made his now-retracted thumb's up for Gary Johnson?

Good chance.

This story is confusing and unbecoming of a pro-tea-party candidacy. I hate to see Governor Johnson swallowed up by meaningless stories like this.

Don't get me wrong: I am all for a reevaluation of marijuana's criminality. Although it's not a priority issue for me, it's been pointed out here from time to time that marijuana is fairly benign (much so more than alcohol), has many health-related benefits for the seriously ill and is far too costly to pursue the federal criminality thereof (in money, prison space and liberty). The smoky picture is not just clouded by pot, either. As is the case with many of the needless laws, branches of government and anti-individual nation-bankrupting "priorities" (or "investments" as Dear Leader calls them) that we have set in the last 100 years as a nation, our country is crying out for a total makeover and changing of priorities that put us in alignment with our founding.

Simply put, as I become more liberty-minded, I reject the left/right paradox of "I don't like it" "therefore it should be illegal," way of thinking. Our nation's Founders rejected that line of thinking too.

But, back to Gary Johnson.

There are so many reasons to wholeheartedly support him. I just wish that pot wasn't such a front-and-center aspect of his campaign as it automatically turns off 90% of the Republican base (as it would have for me when I was younger) and instantly shoves aside his awesome tea party credentials. At this perilous moment in our nation's history marijuana legalization is pretty low on the concerned citizen's list of issues.

On that point for a taste of what's truly important, issues that affect each and every one of us, please look at Johnson's sterling record of achievements as Governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2002 at his campaign site.

Impressive, right? Nevertheless, the proven fiscal-conservative issues above are not 1% as headline-grabbing as Gary Johnson's advocacy for marijuana legalization. Such a shame, how many of the guys in the GOP 2012 Presidential field can boast a record like that of Johnson's above?

Show of hands here?

I don't see any. Still waiting....

In tribute of Willie's non-endorsement endorsement, a little tune from Toby Keith, "I'll never smoke weed with Willie again":

Lyrics to Toby Keith's, "I'll never smoke weed with Willie again":

I always heard that his herb was top shelf.
I just could not wait to find out for myself.
Don’t knock it till you tried it,
Well, I tried it, my friend.
And I’ll never smoke weed with Willie again.
Well, I learned a hard lesson in a small Texas town.
He fired up a fatboy and passed him around.
The last words that I spoke, before they tucked me in…
Was… “I’ll never smoke weed with Willie again.”


I’ll never smoke weed with Willie again.
My parties all over before it begins.
You can pour me some old whiskey river, my friend.
But I’ll never smoke weed with Willie again.

I hopped on his old bus, the Honeysuckle Rose.
The party was Vegas, it was after the show.
Alone in the front lounge, just me and him.
With one parting puff, Grim Creeper set in.


I’ll never smoke weed with Willie again.
My parties all over before it begins.
You can pour me some old whiskey river, my friend.
But I’ll never smoke weed with Willie again.
Now we’re passing the guitar, and telling good jokes.
I know one’s a-comin’, cause I’m smelling smoke.
No, I do not partake, I let it pass by.
With a smile on my face and a great contact high.


I’ll never smoke weed with Willie again.
My parties all over before it begins.
You can pour me some old whiskey river, my friend.
But I’ll never smoke weed with Willie again.
In the fetal position with drool on my chin.
I messed up and smoked weed with Willie again.


  1. "Such a shame, how many of the guys in the GOP 2012 Presidential field can boast a record like that of Johnson's above?"

    I keep harping this point, too. (One of those famous vetoes was against collective bargaining, by the way.) Everything we're asking a candidate to promise us, he's already accomplished... and everybody's too busy making weed jokes to talk about substance.

  2. My own take, for what it's worth...

  3. I'm impressed by his record, but I don't give any politician credit for creating ANY jobs.

    If a politician ever created a private sector job in the correct manner, it should be untraceable to him.

  4. Well put, Scratcher. Your original post that I posted at LCR was one of the best cases for Johnson that I have seen. We are in total agreement! Let me know if you ever want anything posted at my site, as you have done at RR.

  5. I totally agree, Nick. Don't like that on the list.

  6. Nick said: "I don't give any politician credit for creating ANY jobs."

    I can understand and agree about creating jobs while in office.

    On the other hand, he also turned the construction business that he started into a multi-million dollar corporation which employed hundreds of people. So he DOES have private-sector experience as a job creator. That counts for something, IMO.

  7. @LCR- "one of the best cases for Johnson that I have seen"

    Thank you.

    "Let me know if you ever want anything posted..."

    As far as I'm concerned, I'll accept the same deal as T. You can grab anything you'd like, as long as you shoot me an email so I can make sure I'm not getting crushed in the comments. :) I like your place. I'd be honored to have work up here.

  8. I'd like to get a BMW twin turbo diesel and run it on Bio-Willey...just sayin'


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