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Merle Haggard Offers Lindsay Lohan Advice

Merle Haggard

No one is making more headlines for a jail term in July 2010 than Lindsay Lohan, who will likely be released next week following a 13-day stay, acccording to The Los Angeles Times.

Lindsay’s getting about 250 pieces of mail a day, though she can only keep 10 letters at a time under jail rules. Which is a lot more mail than some guy named Merle Haggard got when he was incarcerated.

A longtime member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Merle was famously thrown into San Quentin Prison when he was 19 — that line in his classic “Mama Tried” that says “I turned 21 in prison” is absolutely true. Watching Lindsay’s story from a distance, Merle is concerned about the actress’ future. His stay behind bars sobered Merle up a bit about life. He’s hopeful that it does the same for her.

“I feel sorry for her because she’s such a lovely creature and such a talented person, and she’s also a spoiled brat,” he told Vanity Fair.

Lindsay was sentenced to 90 days for a probation violation, but instead of serving the full term, she’s been ordered by the court to go immediately into rehab after her release from jail.

“I really do feel sorry for her,” Merle said. “She’s going to have to straighten out her life, otherwise she’ll be dead by the time she’s 30. That’s the bottom line.”

Merle is familiar not only with prison, but also with withdrawal. He had surgery for lung cancer in November 2008, and in the process, he gave up his daily habit of smoking pot. It was, to say the least, difficult.

“I quit but I never got over it,” he admitted. “Anybody who says it’s not habit-forming is a damn liar. I’ve had friends tell me, ‘I can quit marijuana any time I want.’ Bullshit! I called a friend of mine, a big music producer whose name you’d probably recognize, and I said to him, ‘I heard you quit pot,’ and he’s like, ‘Yeah, I did.’ I asked him, ‘Well…, how long do these goddamn withdrawals last?’ And he said, ‘It lasted 45 days for me. And then I just started smoking again.’”

Merle’s latest album is appropriately titled: I Am What I Am.

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