Pass It Around: Country Songs About Marijuana

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard weren’t joking around when they recorded “It’s All Going to Pot” for 2015’s Django and Jimmie.

While researching popular songs about marijuana, it looks like country musicians love singing about weed just as much as they sing about whiskey and beer.

Here is a list of other marijuana-friendly country songs for April 20, a holiday observed annually by cannabis advocates as “Weed Day.”

  • Before Roger Miller and Janis Joplin had hits with his “Me and Bobby McGee,” Kris Kristofferson went through some “starving years” that always seem compulsory for country songwriters in Nashville. In an act of desperation, Kristofferson famously landed a helicopter in Cash’s yard to get the Man in Black’s attention to record his material. Among the songs was the somber “Sunday Morning Comin’ Down,” a ballad Kristofferson wrote about a struggling artist who spends a lonely Sunday morning watching others go about their day while he wishes the Lord would bless him with an opportunity to get stoned.

  • Church pairs his weed with wine in “Smoke a Little Smoke,” the third single from his 2009 album Carolina.

  • Her Grammy-nominated debut 12 Stories had this casual blues number about getting through life’s tough times by getting high. “Broke” from 2016’s Big Day in a Small Town also talk about how regular folks out in the sticks get their kicks off stuff they can grow.

  • Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley aren’t shy about their typical Sunday fun day in this No. 1 from their sophomore album, Anything Goes. In the song, all they want to do is wear my favorite shades all day and get stoned. A family-friendly radio edit changes the lyrics “get stoned” to “stay home.”

  • Haggard’s signature hit is considered one of country’s most famous anti-protest songs to come out of America’s ’60s counterculture. It’s allegedly about a small-town Middle American with ardent patriotism who was proud to be from a city where people didn’t smoke marijuana, wear beads or burn their military draft cards. The song was written in one day on the spur of the moment when Haggard’s bus passed the Muskogee city sign. Inspired by the way he thought his father would react to what was going on in the world at the time, the song’s success must have surprised the Hag. It led to his win for the CMA’s entertainer of the year in 1970.

  • In this 2009 single from That Lonesome Song, Johnson parks his pickup in a Baptist church parking lot to smoke pot and pray. By the end of the song, he comes to the conclusion that the high cost of living ain’t nothin’ like the cost of livin’ high.

  • Lay back and let it do what it do.

  • “Don’t Bogart That Joint,” Little Feat

    The rock band Fraternity of Man originally recorded this song in the ’60s, but Little Feat’s minute-long live version from Waiting for Columbus is considered a stoner’s “Auld Lang Syne.” Miranda Lambert famously covered Little Feat’s “Willin’” about movin’ on with weed, whites and wine live in front of a sold-out crowd at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium during 2016’s CMA Music Festival.

  • Vince Gill apparently wouldn’t produce Monroe’s 2013 album Like a Rose if she didn’t record “Weed Instead of Roses” for the collection. In the song, she prefers bouquets of green and whiskey from her lover over conventional romantic gifts like roses, wine, Hallmark cards and teddy bears.

  • In her second single, Musgraves suggests if the straight and narrow gets a little too straight, roll up a joint. Or don’t. Just follow your arrow wherever it points. Nelson and his guitar Trigger also appear on “Willie Nice Christmas” on 2016’s A Very Kacey Christmas. In the song, they hope followers find their own Christmas paradise by staying higher than the angel on top of the tree.

  • Johnson, Kristofferson and Snoop Dogg guest with Nelson on this musical living will of sorts from Nelson’s 2012 album Heroes. In the song, they hope their ashes get rolled up into a joint passed around after they crossover to the other side.

  • Nelson and Haggard bet all their money on pot in this stoner anthem from their 2015 album Django and Jimmie.

  • Co-writer Maren Morris came up with the initial idea for this song, which the duo ended up recording for their 2016 debut Pawn Shop. It’s a road trip-ready rocker that’s perfect for a drive to the nearest weed-friendly state.

  • Pardi compares his lover to a dealer and himself to a love junkie in this romantic rocker from California Sunrise. In the lyrics, he sings of getting hooked every time he holds her.

  • Stapleton ran out of whiskey, so he resorts to getting stoned in this blues rocker from 2015’s Traveller. “Them Stems” from Stapleton’s forthcoming album From a Room: Volume 1 has the potential to be the companion piece to “Stoned.”

  • A hitchhiker catches a ride from a trucker out of Philly with a nice long toke in this OCMS classic. Darius Rucker’s version won the Grammy for best country solo performance in 2014. A new version of Bob Dylan’s “Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35” will be featured on OCMS’s new Blonde on Blonde live tribute, which lands April 28.

  • Life is good for Zac Brown in this beach anthem about zoning out with his toes in the water, ass in the sand and a big fat one in his hand.

Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.