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Willie Nelson on 2016 Presidential Race: ‘This Beats Any Circus I’ve Ever Seen’

Willie Nelson 2016 presidential election
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Willie Nelson has famously been an outspoken activist throughout his career, unafraid to share his opinions on a variety of hot-button issues. And with the 2016 presidential election quickly approaching, Nelson isn’t holding back his thoughts on the current crop of candidates.

“It’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Nelson tells KSAT. “I’ve seen the circus a few times, but this beats any circus I’ve ever seen.

“Seems like they’re just tearing each other down,” he adds. “They can’t wait to say something negative about somebody, and then they still want us to vote for them.”

Nelson is heavily involved in a political issue of a different type: marijuana use. The singer is a proponent of legalizing the drug, and he’s put his money where his mouth is with the release of Willie’s Reserve, a marijuana brand that will be for sale in Colorado this spring. Recreational marijuana is now legal in four states, and Nelson expects that number to grow, especially to his home state of Texas.

“We’re not totally stupid down here, and all the old people are looking around and seeing all of the money they’re taking in in Colorado, Oregon, Washington and California,” he says. “Somebody’s got to be saying, ‘What the hell’s going on?’”

On Thursday (March 16), Nelson will host his 2016 Luck Reunion, at his Austin-area ranch, as part of SXSW 2016. The event will feature two stages and more than 20 acts, including Jenny Lewis, Lucius and Blitzen Trapper. Additionally, Billy Joe Shaver,John Moreland, Nelson’s son Micah’s band Insects vs. Robots, Jack Ingram, Sam Outlaw, Jamie Lin Wilson, Daniel Romano, Ray Wylie Hubbard, the Black Lillies and many more are slated to perform. The lineup ranges from country to rock, folk to soul, all with influences in the “outlaw” sub-genre.

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