During the 2012 CMT Music Awards, Willie Nelson, a country music legend and well-known marijuana supporter, performed his song, “Roll Me up,” a marijuana ballad whose refrain is “roll me up and smoke me when I die,” a clear allusion to marijuana. Joining Mr. Nelson in singing verses of the popular song were some of country music’s best and brightest: Darius Rucker, Toby Keith, Zac Brown, and Jamey Johnson.
It is refreshing to see mainstream musicians that are thought to cater to a relatively conservative fan base singing in support of marijuana. More than that, by singing “Roll Me Up” in a venue that is seen by so many and considered family-friendly, these artists are removing the stigma from the marijuana discourse. They are not debating the use or legality of the drug; they are simply singing a song about marijuana, taking for granted that the subject matter is perfectly normal and acceptable.
The performance can be seen here:
While understated, this is a very important gesture for the artists, as well as CMT, in regard to how marijuana is viewed in the mainstream. Let’s hope that other artists, among all genres and mediums, will follow suit.