Grammy-winner and vocal cannabis advocate Melissa Etheridge was busted for marijuana possession in August, according to reports.
The 56-year-old ‘Come To My Window’ singer was crossing the border from Canada into North Dakota when her tour bus was stopped and searched by Customs and Border Patrol. The agency’s drug-sniffing dogs detected cannabis oil in the vehicle.
Etheridge told authorities she consumes cannabis for pain relief from cancer. As the substance isn’t permitted in North Dakota, however, she was booked for possession of a controlled substance. A mugshot obtained by TMZ shows the singer – who reportedly pleaded not guilty – with a giant grin.
Etheridge has become one of the most prominent cannabis advocates in the celebrity sphere, having first been introduced to the plant during chemotherapy after her 2004 breast cancer diagnosis.
“I'm a Southern California granola kind of gal, and I have a very healthy belief in natural things. And so when the doctor looked at me and said, ‘Okay, you're gonna have this pain...here's five pills and they all have their side effects,’ I said, ‘No thank you. I will smoke this one plant’,” Etheridge told Civilized in an exclusive interview in September 2015.
“It provided relief from pain, from depression. It gave me an appetite. It kept me awake and aware for my children while I was going through this. I just cannot imagine how anyone goes through chemo without it.”
Since then, Etheridge has continued to speak openly about her essential relationship with cannabis and the importance of changing societal perspectives about the plant. One passage in her Civilized interview in particular seems to speak to the singer’s recent run-in with the law.
“Who is to say that me having my favorite indica at the end of the day isn't medical? It keeps my blood pressure down, my stress levels low - all these great rewards we get from this plant medicine,” said Etheridge. “Who is to say [...] am I just wanting to get high at the end of the day or is this my medicine? That's what's gonna change, is our view of medicine.”
You can find Civilized's whole interview with Etheridge here.