Fw: [affiliates] great moment with Willie Nelson and Jimmy Carter

From: Cher, Ohio N.
Sent on: Thursday, September 13, 2012 12:45 PM

I wanted to share this note I received from a friend today, reminding us of the night 32 years ago today when our old friend, and chair of the NORML Advisory Board, Willie Nelson smoked a joint on the roof of the White House. 

Please use the live link at the end to view a recent performance by Willie in Atlanta when he invited both former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalyn to the stage to sing Amazing Grace.

It’s Thursday, September 13, 2012, and on this date 32 years ago Willie Nelson performed on the South Lawn of the White House, sang a duet with Rosalyn Carter, said good night to the president – and, later, after the First Family was abed, went to the White House roof where he fired up a fat boy.
Nelson revealed his midnight toking in his autobiography -- he called his joint “a big fat Austin torpedo" -- although it wasn’t a revelation that surprised anyone: The great country singer has at least as many marijuana arrests as wives (four), and he’s on the board of directors of NORML, the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws.

President Carter wasn’t up on the roof smoking with Willie Nelson, although it might have helped him relax. September was a trying time for the 39th president in 1980. The U.S. economy remained in the dumpster, the Iranian hostage crisis showed no signs of abating, and it had dawned on Carter that Ronald Reagan was a tough customer.

The former president, a longtime dry fly fisherman, found solace by tying flies alone and reading the Bible at night. But on this evening 32 years ago, Carter derived pleasure from hearing his old pal team up with the first lady on a spirited rendition of “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother.”

Jimmy Carter will be 88 years old in a couple of weeks. Willie Nelson is 79. You can’t exactly say they are retired, though. At the beginning of the summer, Willie was performing at Atlanta’s Chastain Park Amphitheatre when he invited Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter on stage to join him in “Amazing Grace.”

Carter, not exactly known for letting his hair down as president, even donned Willie’s trademark red bandana for the occasion. Times (and technology) being what they are, someone in the audience recorded it. It’s not great movie-making, or even great music anymore, but what took place on that Georgia night in mid-June is a pretty definition of aging gracefully.

Thanks, Willie, for all you do for the legalization movement, even after all these years!


Keith Stroup, Esq.
NORML Legal Counsel

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