Willie Nelson says marijuana “saved [his] life.”

The 89-year-old country music legend – who is due to turn 90 in April – is unsure what has kept him in such good shape as he approaches his milestone birthday but explained that as well as following a healthy diet, smoking the Class B drug was an aid to himself and the people around him because he was “drinking a lot” beforehand.

He said: “I wish I could tell you [how I’m still here]. I really don’t know, except that I really do believe in imagining what you want to do and let it happen. And that’s my full philosophy and it’s working. I don’t eat a lot but I drink a lot of protein shakes. I’ve managed to keep my weight down pretty good, and I really don’t do anything that’s bad for me. I don’t drink as much as I used to. I still take a drink of tequila occasionally, but not like I used to.

“[Marijuana] not only saved my life, it probably saved some other people’s lives because before I smoked marijuana, I was drinking a lot. And I might have killed a lot of people, too. So I’m just glad that that didn’t happen. I’m glad we live through all of bad times.”

Meanwhile, the ‘Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain’ hitmaker – who is married to Annie D’Angelo, 63, but has eight children from his various relationships – went on add that he believes in “honesty” even when it “hurts” even though it can be a tricky concept for others to get their head around.

He told E! News: “I believe in honesty,. I believe in being truthful, even when it hurts. And I think that’s a hard one for everybody to grasp. Uh, and that’s what I keep telling myself. You know, if you’re lying, shut up and tell the truth.”