Marijuana 'Kept Me Sober' Says Jelly Roll, Rapper-Turned-Country Star Who Overcame Addictions To Become Music Award Winner

Zinger Key Points
  • The rapper turned country star, who faced drug addiction and scrapes with the law, began selling his own hip-hop mixtapes out of his car.
  • "I believe marijuana has helped me in so many regards, with my anxiety," said Jelly Roll. "It kept me sober."

Country music superstar Jelly Roll says cannabis has helped him deal with anxiety and to maintain his sobriety, as he now focuses on the therapeutic role he wants his music to play for people with addictions and for at-risk youth in his hometown of Nashville. 

It hasn’t always been this way with Jelly Roll. Cannabis has made all the difference.

In a Taste of Country Nights interview with Evan Paul published on Friday, Jelly Roll said, "I think a world without weed, Jelly Roll's drinking codeine and popping Xanax and snorting cocaine again. But a world with weed, I'll be alright."

Paul asked Jelly Roll if he still smokes weed, considering his healthier lifestyle, which includes recently running in a 5K race and training for a half-marathon.

“I get in trouble for this, all the time, but my stance on marijuana will always be the same: I believe marijuana has helped me in so many regards, with my anxiety. This is a hot button topic, but, truly, marijuana has kept me sober,” replied the singer.

Rapper Turned Country: Rough Youth, Sold His Hip-Hop Tapes Out Of His Car

Born Jason DeFord in Nashville, Tennessee, Jelly Roll is a nickname his mother gave him as a child. The rapper-turned-country singer told The New York Times in April 2023, after winning a Country Music Association award for Best New Artist, why he chose to transition from rap to country.

"Music is like human nature. It evolves or dies. Artists should always be pushing the boundaries of what's uncomfortable, and I plan to be doing that the rest of my career."

In 2023, Jelly Roll had three No. 1 country hits and was nominated for two Grammy Awards this year. The 39-year-old, whose youth was marked by drug addiction and scrapes with the law, began his musical career selling his own hip-hop mixtapes out of his car.

Weed Is Not For Everyone In A Rehab Program

"I know that I have friends that don’t do that. I have friends that are in the program that are totally against any kind of mind-altering anything,” said Jelly Roll. “I respect that. I have so much respect for those people. That’s just not how my sobriety worked out.”

Jelly Roll performed the song "Liar," which deals with addiction, at the 2024 CMA Awards.

“Liar” is part of Jelly Roll’s new project in which he's been debuting new music centered on mental health and addiction. He told the outlet that he wrote more than 150 songs in the process of creating the new album. He released another of the songs, "I Am Not OK," on The Voice‘s season finale last week.

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