Melissa Etheridge Smokes Pot On Stage During Cannabis Cup

By McCarton Ackerman 06/17/16

The 55-year-old singer has been a pro-pot advocate since she began using medical marijuana after being diagnosed with cancer in 2004. 

Melissa Etheridge Smokes Pot On Stage During Cannabis Cup

Melissa Etheridge recently completed a career first: getting high during a concert.

During a performance at the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup in Clio, Michigan, last Saturday, the singer-songwriter and medical marijuana advocate told the crowd, “This is my first time ever, smoking while performing.” She then pulled out a joint case and talked about the benefits of sativa strains as she lit up and smoked.

But while she says she hadn’t smoked on stage before, Etheridge previously admitted that she has walked out on stage high before.

“Good Lord, of course! Let’s say I’m doing a show and I’ve done it for a while and I have it down with my band—like I know these songs and they know them—I will take a hit or two right before I go on. That’s really fun,” she told Cannabis Now magazine last December. “I do really have to know what’s going on, ‘cause that little lapse of memory that you can get when you’re doing that can sort of trip you up. But I do enjoy it.”

Etheridge has been open about using medical marijuana after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. Although she had occasionally smoked before then, she began touting the benefits of the drug after feeling that it helped with her appetite and immune system overall.

“It really hit me over the head then that I can’t be okay with ‘I’m a cannabis user and I get away with it because I’m in California and everybody smokes here.’ The laws need to change,” she told Cannabis Now. “This is something good, especially for people on chemotherapy. I don’t know how anybody would do chemotherapy and then take five other drugs for the side effects—and the side effects of that. It’s just horrendous. Cannabis really helped me.”

Etheridge even partnered with a California medical marijuana dispensary in December 2014 to launch a line of cannabis-infused wines. Referring to it as a “passion project,” she's held meetings with investors in the hopes of having it distributed in medical marijuana states. She explained that users will “feel a little buzzed from the alcohol and then get a delicious full body buzz,” but said the wine won’t make you paranoid because the cannabis goes through a “cold extraction” and is far less psychoactive.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.