Austin To Unveil Monument To Willie Nelson on 4/20
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Austin To Unveil Monument To Willie Nelson on 4/20
Posted by CN Staff on April 20, 2012 at 04:45:31 PT
By The Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press
Austin, Texas -- Country music legend Willie Nelson was expected to help unveil an 8-foot statue of himself in downtown Austin on Friday, which happens to be a national day of protest for the legalization of marijuana.The privately funded monument near the new Moody Theater shows Nelson in a relaxed, standing pose and holding his guitar to the side, as if in conversation. Philadelphia sculptor Clete Shields said the leaning pose and heroic scale are intended to show Nelson’s openness and whimsical side while honoring his tremendous influence on music and the city.
“We wanted to get a timeless Willie, an ageless Willie,” Shields said.Nelson is a 10-time Grammy Award-winning musician who has sold more than 40 million copies of 105 albums in a career built on not conforming to country music norms. Nelson fused country music with jazz and rock in the early 1970s to create the “outlaw country” movement in Austin and helped give the city a reputation as a music city. His first major hit came when Patsy Cline recorded his song “Crazy” in 1961.Nelson was also a founder of the Farm Aid movement to help family farmers and has appeared in 37 films and television shows, ranging from a starring role in the 1982 western “Barbarosa” to making a cameo in the 1998 Dave Chappelle stoner comedy “Half Baked.”The unveiling takes place on April 20, or 4/20, which is slang for smoking marijuana and a day pro-legalization forces have used for annual gatherings to demonstrate in support of the cause. Nelson is a well-known advocate of legalizing marijuana and has been arrested several times for possessing it.But the group that raised money for the statue and gave it to the city said the date of the unveiling is just a coincidence.The Willie Monument is the third statue put up by Capital Area Statues Inc., a group of prominent Texas writers, film producers and musicians. One of the others honors three Texas writers and is located at Barton Springs. and the other honors the woman who fired a cannon to prevent the removal of the state archives from Austin. Capital Area Statues was formed to add more statues in Austin’s public places and raises money for them by selling scale models of the work.Lawrence Wright, one of the group’s founders, said April 20 was chosen because Nelson was scheduled to perform at a tribute to Johnny Cash in Austin that night, not because of the counterculture significance. “We didn’t know anything about it; it seems everyone else knew the story on this,” Wright said, laughing, adding that he doesn’t think Nelson was doing it intentionally either. But he said the group decided to embrace the city’s unofficial motto of “Keep Austin Weird” and take the additional step of arranging for the unveiling to take place at 4:20 p.m. to add to the symbolism.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Published: April 20, 2012Copyright: 2012 The Associated PressCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on April 20, 2012 at 09:28:59 PT
Willie Nelson Statue Unveiling
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on April 20, 2012 at 09:24:29 PT
Dear Jerry,
Today is 4/20 -- a symbolic day for the drug policy reform movement. For many, it’s a day for celebration, but it’s also a day to speak out and show legislators your support for marijuana legalization. 4/20 is a reflection of the fact that marijuana is a mainstream cultural and political issue that is gaining ground across the country. Whether you love, hate, or don’t care about marijuana, we all agree that marijuana prohibition does more harm than good -- yet the war on marijuana rages on. We've been working on a groundbreaking bill that would end federal marijuana prohibition by allowing states to decide their own marijuana laws. Speak out and urge your representatives to cosponsor this bill today!
Momentum is building across the country to end marijuana prohibition. The most recent Gallup poll found that half of all Americans want to make marijuana legal. A diverse and growing number of leaders are fed up and speaking out. This November, Colorado and Washington voters have an historic opportunity to become the first states to legalize marijuana. We are closer than ever to the tipping point. More Americans support legalizing marijuana than ever before -- but legislators need to hear from you to make it a reality. On this 4/20, take action and fight for what’s right. Make your voice heard: tell your representatives to listen to public opinion and end federal marijuana prohibition today!
Bill Piper
Director, Office of National Affairs
Drug Policy Alliance 
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Comment #1 posted by museman on April 20, 2012 at 09:15:04 PT
Well, somebody got it right. Willie deserves a statue. He should be immortalized that way. So should a few others -who are not rich, powerful, and politicians.I could see a future generation toppling statues of Nixon, Reagan, and Bush as statement of their liberation from tyranny, but not Willie. May he stand there reminding us of 420 forever.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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