‘Just common sense’: Willie and Annie Nelson discuss cannabis, politics and more at Texas Tribune Festival

Texas
Texas Tribune Festival

Texas Tribune Festival

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — “It’s very unnerving.”

That’s how Willie Nelson described being unable to play concerts at a virtual panel earlier Thursday afternoon.

However, he also went on to say, “The last thing I would wanna do is have a concert and have a lot of people come out and get sick. I don’t want that to happen. And however long it takes to get back to normal… we’ll wait.”

Willie was of course, referring to himself and his wife, Annie, who was also present at the virtual panel held as a part of this year’s Texas Tribune Festival.

Andy Langer of Texas Monthly hosted the panel titled “Funny How Time Slips Away” and spoke with the couple about a range of topics, including cannabis policy reform, sustainable farming and politics.

Annie, the founder and manager of “Annie’s Edibles” and “Willie’s Remedy,” which is as a part of the couple’s line of cannabis products, said cannabis legalization in Texas is just ‘common sense.’

Both Willie and Annie touted the medicinal benefits of cannabis, especially in the context of a global pandemic.

“In states where it is legal, it is considered an essential business. Cannabis stores are open. And they are open for a reason… it helps with anxiety,” Annie said.

“It’s a real medicine, that I think… if you use it correctly, is good for you,” Willie added.

Annie went further, explaining the financial incentives of cannabis legalization.

“Even if you just look at it for the financial aspect… to not legalize cannabis… you’re cutting yourself out of tax revenue… because somebody is making money off of it… it might as well be regulated. And people get safe product,” she explained.

Also discussed at the event was Willie and Annie’s longtime support of independent, sustainable family farming. A movement, which has led the couple to form the Texas Regenerative Farmer’s Union and promote one of the first industrial scale, regenerative agricultural models with the help of Terra Purezza—a regenerative agriculture institute and farm.

According to the couple, the goal of the union, as well as their decision to practice regenerative farming at their own 500-acre Luck Ranch in the Texas Hill Country, is to directly combat climate change, while also providing education and opportunities for future generations of farmers.

Finally, when Langer asked Willie what he is most hopeful about in these uncertain times, the conversation inevitably turned political with Willie referencing the 2020 presidential election.

“I believe we are smarter than a lot of people think we are… I think we have to be careful and make sure nobody comes in and screws with our elections… but I do believe, if everything goes like it’s supposed to, the regime will change and Joe Biden will be our next president. That’s I would like to see happen,” he said.

The Texas Tribune Festival, which began Sept. 1, will run through the end of the month. All of the panels and events held will be virtual, with most of the events available on-demand for ticket holders.

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