It’s wise to avoid crossing borders while in possession of cannabis. Unfortunately for folk-star Melissa Etheridge, it’s wisdom she had to learn the hard way.
TMZ reported that while returning from Canada on August 17, a day after a performing at the River Cree Casino in Edmonton, Etheridge’s tour bus was stopped at a customs check coming into North Dakota. While stopped, drug-detection dogs boarded the bus and subsequently directed border control agents to a bottle containing cannabis oil.
Although cannabis is legal in California, where Etheridge resides, it is illegal in North Dakota where a medical cannabis program is still under development. Following the discovery of the cannabis oil, Etheridge was placed under arrest and charged with possession of a controlled substance.
Etheridge reportedly told officers that the cannabis oil is for lingering effects of breast cancer and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and began using cannabis after friends recommended it for dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy. Now she’s created a line of her own cannabis products.
“My friends told me that medical cannabis could help me handle chemotherapy, so I gave it a try,” Etheridge said in a testimonial for New Approach Missouri. “It worked even better than they said it would. Not only did it treat my nausea better than anything else I tried, it alleviated both my physical and emotional pain. I continue to use cannabis to treat the lasting gastrointestinal effects of the chemo and to help me get a good night’s sleep.”
The Grammy award winner has also been vocal—despite online criticism—about using cannabis with her wife and adult children, Beckett, 18, and Bailey, 20.
“I have smoked with my older two,” she said in an interview for Yahoo. “It was funny at first, and then they realized, it’s a very natural, end-of-the-day [thing] . . . and it brings you much closer. I’d much rather have a smoke with my grown kids than a drink.”