Jelly Roll has credited marijuana with keeping him “sober” and away from harder drugs.

“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,” the “Wild Ones” singer, 39, told A Taste of Country in an interview published on May 24.

Speaking in the third person, Jelly – real name Jason DeFord – added, “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.”

The 2024 CMT Performance of the Year winner acknowledged that his approach to sobriety by still using marijuana was a bit unorthodox.

“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. I respect that. I have so much respect for those people. That’s just not how my sobriety worked out,” Jelly added.

The “Son of a Sinner” singer revealed in December 2023 that he used to equate drinking with cocaine use.

“I had to learn that you could drink alcohol without doing cocaine. It took me a long time to learn that,” he told People. “I’ve never said that, but that’s real. There was a long time where I just assumed, when people told me they drank without doing cocaine, I was like, I thought we only drank to do cocaine.”

“I thought [drinking] was to make us not feel like drug addicts. Nobody wants to snort cocaine sober, then you’re a drug addict. But I had to re-look at my relationship with alcohol like that,” he said.

Jelly Roll Claims Marijuana Kept Him Sober and Away From Drugs
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However, the musician added that he still drank on occasion even though he was able to kick hard drugs.

“I never really had a problem with alcohol, so I’ll still have a cocktail, but very, especially this year, very seldomly. Like, special night kind of stuff, like the night of the CMAs, of course we partied. But I just try to stay away from drugs,” he explained.

Jelly acknowledged he still used alcohol and marijuana, even though he attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

“I’ve never talked about this in interviews, but because I do drink and smoke weed, I will attend meetings occasionally. If I’m really struggling with thinking of my behavioral pattern, I’ll go to a meeting,” he shared. “I just — out of an abundance of respect for the people who really got off the drugs completely, and the alcohol and the weed — don’t necessarily claim to be a part of the program, because I respect their work and I would never want to diminish it with some of my actions, but AA has done a lot for me.”

Jelly went to jail on a crack cocaine charge in 2008 when he was 23 years old. While he was behind bars, his daughter Bailee was born. Becoming a dad caused him to ​reevaluate his life and kick drugs.

“A guard knocks on my cell door midafternoon during lockdown. He goes, ‘You had a kid today,’” Jelly told Billboard in June 2023. “I’ve never had nothing in life that urged me in the moment to know that I had to do something different. I have to figure this out right now.”

Bailee’s birth inspired him to change, and he was out of jail and at home with his daughter by her second birthday. The ACM Award winner also credited wife Bunnie Xo, whom he married in 2016, with helping him be a hands-on dad. “I would have never got custody of my daughter without her. I wouldn’t have had the stability or the money,” he told the publication.