Even Country Music Is Ready for Marijuana Legalization

Categories: Fiesta!

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Church released a cleaned-up take of "Smoke a Little Smoke" for some squeamish radio programmers. ("Find my stash" became "find my glass.") That wasn't the case with likable Darius Rucker, whose cover of the Old Crow Medicine Show (and Bob Dylan) neo-standard "Wagon Wheel" hit No. 1 and racked up Grammys and CMAs despite Rucker declaring, on every country station in the U.S., that he enjoyed "a nice, long toke." His voice, plump and rich as an amber stout, made it clear he considered this a moment to be relished. Just imagine how many kids sang along in exurban SUVs.

Lee Brice's godawful Top 10 hit "Parking Lot Party" suggests you "light one up" as just one of the many ritualized behaviors involved in tailgating; Toby Keith's weak-sauce "Weed with Willie," from 2003, came too early to be an endorsement: In it, tough beef-slab Keith chickens out and vows he'll never smoke with Nelson again. Meanwhile, recent cuts from Randy Houser ("They Call Me Cadillac"), Ashley Monroe ("Weed Instead of Roses"), Kenny Chesney ("French Kissing Life"), Kacey Musgraves ("Follow Your Arrow"), and many more tout weed as pleasure, relief, and symbol of freedom right up there with any other signifying cliché. The best is Brandy Clark's "Get High," a blessing and curse on the order of that old country standby, "White Lightning": "All she can do is stare at the paint/That's been peeling off the walls/A couple tokes and her troubles don't seem all that tall."

She sits in a stupor, feeling better and feeling worse, and any lover of drinkin' songs will tell you there's nothing more country than that.

[Follow Alan Scherstuhl on Twitter at @studiesincrap]

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