May 01, 2015

EoT: Nelson’s Pot and Party Politics

Eyes on Texas, a roundup of news, columns and features about the state, from media around the world.

Willie Nelson claims pot was “by far, the smoothest of all my marriages” in his new biography, but even the best relationships can have a rough start.

When Nelson was just starting his career as a musician, he was not the beloved smoker Texans know and love today. Rather, he was initially scared away from pot after seeing “Reefer Madness,” the 1936 cult classic that showed teenagers drawn into addiction and crime after they smoked the “killer weed,” reports the New York Post.

His fear did not last, and by the early 1970s Nelson became a devoted toker, crediting weed with the fact that he’s still singing at 82. “I owe marijuana a lot,” he writes in the book. “I think I can fairly make the claim that marijuana — in the place of booze, cocaine and tobacco — has contributed to my longevity.”

Nelson recently announced his plans to develop and market his own brand of pot in states where it’s legal.


Politics makes strange bedfellows, but two gay hoteliers in New York are regretting having hosted a dinner for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican presidential candidate who opposes gay marriage and has introduced a bill to protect states that ban it.

Out NYC Hotel owners Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass said they didn’t anticipate the backlash, which included calls, texts and emails and the cancellation of several events at their hotel, the New York Times reported. “I was ignorant, naive and much too quick in accepting a request to co-host a dinner with Cruz at my home without taking the time to completely understand all of his positions on gay rights,” Reisner said on Facebook. He said the dinner topics were Israel and national security.

Gay comedian Justin Sayre said he was baffled by the dinner, according to The Daily Beast. “Of all the people in the world to invite to a gay party, Ted Cruz? What was it? His sparkling wit? His fair and balanced repartee? Do you have a thing for Canadians? (Cruz was born in Canada.) Does he make a mean gin rickey?”


Ranchers in Texas like their beef well done with a side of science.

The rib-eye steak is the top-selling cut in America both at the supermarket and the steakhouse, and cattle owners are now using ultrasound to produce the best beef possible, reported NPR. Bovine ultrasound specialists visit Texas ranches “take a peek at the living steak,” and see how the rib eye is coming along. Live cattle are scanned while in chutes, and their edible potential is then determined.

When the rib-eye muscles come up on the screen a computer program calculates their “marbling score.” The higher the marbling score, the tastier the bull’s insides are supposed to be.

“Our mission is simple,” Throckmorton ranch owner Donnell Brown said to NPR. “We’re continually striving to improve the efficiency of converting God’s forage into safe, nutritious and great-tasting beef.”

By Darby Kendall