The family that gets high together, stays together! In a new interview, Melissa Etheridge opened up about smoking marijuana recreationally, medicinally and with her eldest children, Bailey and Beckett.
“It was strange,” the two-time Grammy winner, 55, told Yahoo! of the first time she sparked a joint with Bailey, 20, and Beckett, 18, who she shares with ex Julie Cypher. “It was funny at first, and then they realized it’s very natural [at the] end of the day. It brings you much closer. I’d much rather have a smoke with my grown kids than a drink.”
When she was growing up, Etheridge’s parents, John and Elizabeth, warned her not to smoke weed, which made her aware of the stigma behind the herbal drug. “There’s a funny thing that people take on, especially grownups, because of how we were raised with this stigma that cannabis is for hippies that wanna check out and drop out,” she told the outlet. “My parents [said] that weed, that pot was the worst thing. They were drinking, but don’t you dare smoke that pot. … It’s not gonna kill you. You overdose on cannabis, you fall asleep!”
The “I’m the Only One” rocker told Yahoo! that she has been smoking marijuana recreationally since she was 21 years old, but wasn’t aware of the medicinal benefits until she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004.
“I asked many of my friends [who had gone through chemo], ‘What’s the experience? What are you doing?’ And my friend David Crosby, he was the first one who said, ‘You know, Melissa, you have to do medicinal marijuana. You have to [try] cannabis. That’s the way to do it. It’s too hard otherwise,'” she recalled.
Etheridge’s doctors recommended about “five, six pharmaceuticals” while she was undergoing chemotherapy, but she declined. “I’m like, ‘No, I’m going to go this natural way,'” she explained. “I’m gonna go with this one plant that [the] side effect is euphoria. I think I’m OK with that when I’m on chemo!”
Since then, the singer-songwriter has become an advocate for medicinal marijuana. “It was a wake-up call for me,” she told Yahoo! “When I used it as medicine, it became so clear to me that it has been maligned and misunderstood, and I really wanted to help people who are suffering. I mean, going through chemotherapy is suffering … and cannabis helps so many parts of just that.”
Today, Etheridge is cancer-free but continues to smoke pot. “Cannabis is a part of my life,” she said before joking that the drug is “the best marital aid” for her marriage to wife Linda Wallem.
“When the family’s there, once everybody gets to sleep, it’s our time,” she said of her downtime with Wallem, 55. “It’s Mama time … We take a bath every night and smoke, talk, wind down and sleep a very, very good night’s sleep.”
Etheridge also shares 10-year-old twins Miller and Johnnie with ex Tammy Lynn Michaels.
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