Willie Nelson Inhaled at the White House —and He Wasn't Alone

The country legend apparently lit one up with James Earl 'Chip' Carter III
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2020 9:30 AM CDT
Willie Nelson, Carter's Son Smoked Up at the White House
In this image from video, former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter, seen in a photo as they speak on audio only, during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020.   (Democratic National Convention via AP)

Wonder what Willie Nelson would do on the White House roof? Nah, you probably know already. "When Willie Nelson wrote his autobiography, he confessed that he smoked pot in the White House one night when he was spending the night with me," Jimmy Carter says in a new documentary, Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President, per People. "And he says that his companion that shared the pot with him was one of the servants in the White House. That is not exactly true—it actually was one of my sons, which he didn't want to categorize as a pot-smoker like him." The former president's son, James Earl "Chip" Carter III, tells the LA Times that he and Nelson indeed went up to the roof on Sept. 13, 1980.

The singer was taking a break during a White House performance at the time. "In the break I said, 'Let's go upstairs,'" Chip tells the Times. "We just kept going up till we got to the roof, where we leaned against the flagpole at the top of the place and lit one up." He adds that "most of the avenues run into the White House. You could sit up and could see all the traffic coming right at you. It's a nice place up there." The story has circulated for years, but Chip never fully confirmed, telling GQ in 2015 that Nelson "told me not to ever tell anybody." Nelson was one of several musicians to visit or perform at Carter's White House, including Bob Dylan, Loretta Lynn, and Charles Mingus. The doc is about Carter's special connection to the music world. (More Jimmy Carter stories.)

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