During the 1960s, when half of America was a race riot and an anti-war demonstration, the great musician Merle Haggard made a famous song called “Okie from Muskogee” in which he sang, “We don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee, a place where even squares can have a ball.”
Now, forty-five years later, it turns out Haggard is a pothead. From the Jan 1, 2009 New York Times:
Merle Haggard plans to give his first concerts since undergoing surgery for lung cancer two months ago, Reuters reported. In a special twist, Mr. Haggard, 71, said that for the first time in his life he would perform without having first smoked tobacco or marijuana. Notwithstanding a jab at pot smokers in his 1969 hit “Okie From Muskogee,” Mr. Haggard has long indulged a marijuana habit of his own. [He gave up a few times over the years, but “nothing was funny,” he said.] Having now put it aside, he said, he expects to work harder in 2009. The concerts are set for Friday and Saturday in his hometown, Bakersfield, Calif.
It’s okay to be a hypocrite, but I think the heads of the 1960s are owed an apology, as the Okie song was just one more stupid stanza in a drug and culture war that, guess what, we are about to win! How did marijuana get legalized? Because they don’t have 120 million jail cells vacant at any one time.
The Dope from Muskogee
for Merle Haggard
If you live long enough
You’ll get to see everything
Turned inside out.
Turns out the “Okie from Muskogee”
Turned into the Pothead from Bakersfield
With no apology yet foreseen
For the damage hippy hating did to this
Defunct Vietnam War torn country.
Pot smokers take turns
Passing their joints around.
Merle must have at least one song
In his tuckerbag to extol
The virtues of Marijuana over Valium:
Please pass the music.
Put him on the train for the
Medical uses of Marijuana
Recreation without drugs
Is hardly recreation at all.