Jelly Roll Says Marijuana 'Has Kept Me Sober,' Recalls Past Drug Use

Jelly Roll was previously a drug dealer and has spent time behind bars.

Jelly Roll is crediting marijuana with helping him to steer clear of hard drugs and alcohol. In a new interview with Taste of Country, the 39-year-old singer, who also goes by Jason Bradley DeFord, opens up still smoking weed while working on his past substance abuse issues

"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," he tells the outlet. "This is a hot-button topic, but, truly, marijuana has kept me sober." 

Jelly Roll says that without weed, he would be "drinking codeine and popping Xanax and snorting cocaine." 

Bunnie Xo, Jelly Roll and Bailee Ann DeFord attend the 66th GRAMMY Awards at Arena on Feb. 4, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. - Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The "Halfway to Hell" singer, who is currently in a recovery program, says he has plenty of friends practicing sobriety who won't smoke marijuana. 

"I respect that," he shares. "I have so much respect for those people. That's just not how my sobriety worked out." 

The country singer has been open about his struggle with addiction, his past as a drug dealer and his numerous stints behind bars. 

Jelly Roll has also been on a health journey in recent years and is training for a half-marathon. 

Jelly Roll attends Netflix is a Joke Fest: 2 Bears 5K at Rose Bowl Stadium on May 7, 2024 in Pasadena, California. ( - Charley Gallay/Getty Images

"I feel incredible, I've never felt more clear-headed, more level-minded, more present," Jelly Roll marveled to ET earlier this month. "It's really cool, man. It's like I've never been more present in anything I've ever done."

Noting he has lost 50-70 pounds in recent months, the Whitsitt Chapel artist is continuing to focus on his own self-improvement. 

"I think at some point in life, everything in life has let me down. But music was always my constant," Jelly Roll told ET in 2023. "Like, when I had nothing else, I had a boombox. When I was incarcerated, I had a set of headphones and a little radio."

"In the darkest moments of my life, at my father's funeral, it was music that helped me cope," he added. "Music was always there to give me a hug. So I just want to do that for people."