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That time a President's son got high with Willie Nelson at the White House

Country-Western legend Willie Nelson enjoys a great view. It's also well-known that he enjoys smoking marijuana. There's even a well-known country song about protecting oneself from getting into Nelson's allegedly potent stash.


For years, in interviews and in his biographies, Nelson alluded to smoking weed with a "White House insider" during the Presidency of Jimmy Carter. Nelson says the insider knocked on his hotel room door one night and offered to give him an exclusive tour of the Presidential mansion. On the roof, Nelson says the insider had a beer in one hand and a fat Austin Torpedo in the other.

In a 2015 interview with GQ, Nelson admitted what he'd long neglected to answer. His insider friend was actually Chip Carter, otherwise known as James Earl Carter III, son of then-President Jimmy Carter.

Nelson, after admitting that his friend "looked a lot like...could have been, yeah..." Chip Carter, he goes on to say that the incident wasn't anything to brag about.

"... at the time, seemed like the thing to do. We were there, and there it was, and uh…why not, you know? And they have a great view from the roof."

When asked if he hid the story and his friend's identity to keep from embarrassing the President, Nelson denied it, saying President Carter knew his own son and that he definitely knew the Red-Headed Stranger.

President Carter with Willie Nelson and friends. (National Archives)

Chip Carter, now 65, says Nelson told him not to tell anybody.

For all the talk of staying out of Willie Nelson's weed, Nelson has started his own proprietary brand of marijuana, calling it "Willie's Reserve." You can pick it up from dispensaries in Washington, Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon.

"I've bought a lot of pot in my life," Nelson told GQ. "And now I'm selling it back."

Read the whole 2015 Chris Heath interview with Willie Nelson on GQ.com.