Caught Out of Bounds
Melissa Etheridge made headlines last year when she was arrested in August at the Canadian-US border for possession of pot. Her tour bus was pulled over and she was detained after K-9 dogs boarded. If her smiling mugshot is any indication, she probably wasn’t too worried about what had transpired. But the law is the (stupid) law. Melissa’s home state is California, where it is now legal to possess weed, and their medicinal marijuana program has been legal for decades. But, as we all know, taking marijuana across state lines is not allowed. Possession inside North Dakota – where she was arrested – is not allowed either.
For her part, the songstress issued a statement saying, “Because I am a musician, people often assume that I must indulge in a fast-paced life that often comes with playing on the road.” She then went on to explain that she never considered using cannabis until she was diagnosed with breast cancer nearly fourteen years ago. Since that time, she’s not only been a fan but an advocate. While her battle with breast cancer began in 2004, Melissa stated that she continues to use marijuana to help with the lasting effects of chemotherapy.
Melissa was forty-three before she became a regular smoker. Still, it’s not that surprising. While cannabis has largely been painted as a young person’s game, it’s the older crowd who are becoming the most ardent fans. Pot use among seniors is growing and growing fast. It’s not hard to assume why. Seniors are much more prone to aches and pains than the rest of us and cannabis helps. Forget the BENGAY, reach for the green.
The Irvine Cannabis Party
The August arrest wasn’t the first time Melissa made cannabis headlines in 2017. She took part in a cannabis party in Irvine last January. This party was dedicated to women trying to break into (or succeeding within) the cannabis industry. The party was hosted by Tamar Maritz, who held the shindig at her super cool parents’ house. She also invited many of her parents’ friends. Maritz stated that marijuana parties provide dual benefits.
“Cannabis-related parties provide a platform for educating the public about not only the benefits of marijuana but also safe and effective consumption.”
The party itself featured an array of cannabis samples, including edibles. They were not available for purchase though because while marijuana was legal last year, it wasn’t allowed to be sold until this year when recreational sales first began on New Year’s Day. The party involved around eighty attendees and gave several entrepreneurs a chance to peddle their goods. People sold cannabis-themed creams, topicals, and jewelry. Some people even sold wallets and purses that would conceal the tell-tale scent of marijuana. Melissa appeared to be there simply to support the businesses of others, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have something up her own sleeve.
Melissa entered the cannabis industry as a business professional back in 2016 with Etheridge Farms. Etheridge Farms was set to make cannabis products for California medicinal marijuana patients. Prior to launch, she told Billboard Magazine, "I'm right in the process of branding. There's a balm that's so good for muscles and arthritis. I have my own smoke, some edibles, and some cartridges. I'm really just entering the market with what I've learned in the last 10 years about cannabis in wanting to bring a product to America that is focused on health and on wellness and how important this plant is and used to be in our medicinal system.
Seventy years ago, it was on pharmacy shelves, now it's time to get back to that - to understand plant medicine. That's really where I want to enter this market - for the person who is looking to unwind at night and not have a couple of drinks and feel like crap in the morning. Maybe this is an alternative, maybe I can wind down this way. And wow, maybe this topical actually helps with this inflammation. I just feel really strongly about the medicinal aspects of cannabis." Having gone through cancer, and the brutal treatment that follows, she knows about medicinal cannabis. And she knows what it can do. Cannabis is also an alternative to heavier, more dangerous painkillers (like opioids). This isn’t limited to seniors, either. Professional athletes tell tales of Percocet being handed out like candy by leagues that suspend athletes for smoking cannabis.
In fact, Melissa is involved in this debate. Per Billboard, she took part in the Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition, moderating a discussion on cannabis use for professional athletes. Etheridge Farms will hopefully come to fruition someday. Her star power, influence, and personal experience all set Melissa up to be a powerful woman in the cannabis industry. As for her arrest, she really owes her fans (and even people who are not her fans) zero explanation. We’ll gladly come to her window, and we’ll bring weed.