Merle Haggard knows: 8 country cannabis classics for your listening (and smoking) pleasure

www.salon.com
Date:
Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017

When we think about marijuana and music, we think of hippies and 1960s rock 'n' roll, or perhaps, blunt-puffing rappers and hip hop artists, or maybe even reggae musicians—not country-and-western artists.

But there is a surprisingly long history of reefer-related C&W songs, and even more surprisingly, there were a lot of favorable ones even back in the days when country music was the stuff of flag-waving, hippie-hating, retro Americanism. Of course, back then, most of these tunes weren't the stuff of mainstream country—that poppish stuff coming out of Nashville then and now—but of performers on the fringes, whether counterculture-influenced country rockers or more folksy songwriters, but they fit well within the country canon.

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The late country giant Merle Haggard bookends this list, and with good reason. His "Okie from Muskogee" was straight America's angry response to long-haired, dope-smoking hippies and a signal moment in the culture wars we're still fighting to this day. But times change, and so did Haggard, coming to openly embrace the virtues of weed, just as country music in general has come to terms with it.

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