Merle Haggard was once known for his conservative views about marijuana use, but soon, Colorado will be able to enjoy a recreational marijuana strain developed by the late country legend himself.
Before he passed away at the age of 79 in April of this year, Haggard helped develop a strain called Merle’s Girls, which is set to hit the Colorado market in coming months.
Haggard began growing medical marijuana on his 280-acre California property decades after releasing his 1969 hit, “Okie from Muskogee”, whose lyrics preached a drug-free lifestyle. In an August 2015 interview with Men’s Journal, Haggard explained that his change of heart came about thanks to education.
He had started consuming cannabis – particularly sativa strains – to deal with his hectic touring schedule in his later years.
"At the time I wrote 'Okie From Muskogee,' I didn't smoke,” Haggard told the publication, referring to the song that opened with the line ‘We don't smoke marijuana in Musgokee.’
“It was '68. I had been brainwashed like most of America about what marijuana would and wouldn't do. I thought it was responsible for the flower children walking around with their mouths open…It was not so. But if a guy doesn't learn anything in 50 years, there's something wrong with him. I've learned a lot about it, and America has, too."
Haggard hoped to expand his growth operation (which he’d had help with from daughter Jenessa Haggard-Bennett and son-in-law Brian Bennett) to Colorado, but he died before that could become a reality.
Now, Merle's Girls (named after a California girls soccer team sponsored by Haggard) is slated to launch through the help of Haggard’s relatives and Colorado Weed Co. in Colorado shortly. The company said it also plans to offer the strain in others states, including California, assuming it votes yes for legalization this November.
h/t Rolling Stone