Asked by TMZ.com about the country crooner's recent marijuana arrest, the rapper warned that authorities "better leave Willie the f*** alone."
"Willie Nelson is a legend," Snoop Dogg (real name: Cordozar Calvin Broadus) said. "Sometimes you need to back up off of certain people and have a certain amount of respect for your elders. And Willie Nelson is our elder ... If you got a problem with Willie Nelson, you got a problem with me."
Meanwhile, Nelson, who was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession in Texas earlier this month following the discovery of marijuana aboard his tour bus, is taking the high road and asking fans to donate to the annual Christmas fund of the police who arrested him.
Nelson's website has posted an invitation asking fans to donate to the Hudspeth county sheriff's department toy drive, which helps deliver presents to local children. "For what it's worth, we appreciate the mention and we're glad to take any donations," Mike Doyal, chief deputy at the sheriff's department, told Rolling Stone magazine. "[Nelson] was very cooperative and nice and pleasant to be around."
Nelson's tour bus pulled into a routine checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, Texas, around 9 a.m. Nov. 26. When an officer noticed a suspicious odor coming from the bus, a search turned up the marijuana, police said.
Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West told the El Paso Times that Nelson, 77, claimed that the marijuana was his.
Officials originally thought that Nelson could face far more serious felony charges -- and even serve time for the offense -- given that six ounces were discovered. Once weighed, the amount was determined to be less than four ounces, so Nelson received the misdemeanor charge and if convicted will be fined, not jailed.
According to police patrolman Bill Brooks, a sheriff from Hudspeth County was contacted and Nelson was among three people arrested at the scene last weekend. Nelson was held briefly and paid a $2,500 bond before being released.
Mickey Raphael, Nelson's longtime harmonica player, spoke with Rolling Stone regarding the incident and Nelson's release late last week, telling the magazine that "he said he feels great -- he lost six ounces."
"It's kind of surprising, but I mean we treat him like anybody else," West told the El Paso Times. "He could get 180 days in county jail, which if he does, I'm going to make him cook and clean. He can wear the stripy uniforms just like the other ones do."
Nelson, a staunch advocate of decriminalization of marijuana, has had his share of drug-related brushes with the law.
In Louisiana in 2006, 1.5 pounds of marijuana and three ounces of hallucinogenic mushrooms were found on his bus. Nelson pleaded guilty in that case and each was sentenced to a $1,024 fine and six months probation.
Back in 1995 Nelson was also arrested in Waco, Texas, and police officers said they saw a joint in his car's ashtray. Nelson had pulled off the road to sleep after an all night poker game. At the time he also confessed that there was small amount of marijuana on the car's floorboard.
Nelson, a Texas native who was born in the tiny town of Abbott, has been an icon of the country music scene since the early 1970s, when he rose to prominence in the outlaw country movement of the time with albums like "Red Headed Stranger" and classic tracks like "On the Road Again" and a famous cover of Fred Rose's "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain."
Nelson is a co-chair of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) advisory board, and has worked for years for marijuana legalization. He has recorded and produced radio and television commercials for the cause, and in 2005 hosted the Willie Nelson & NORML Benefit Golf Tournament at his personal golf course in Spicewood, Texas.