Melissa Etheridge Talks Smoking Weed With Her Grown Kids

By Victoria Kim 04/18/17

The pro-cannabis singer opened up about pot and parenting in "Weed and the American Family."

Melissa Etheridge with her daughter Bailey and her son Beckett
Melissa Etheridge with her daughter Bailey and her son Beckett

Melissa Etheridge has a famously unabashed approach to cannabis issues. Most recently, she spoke to Yahoo about smoking weed with her kids, sparking the media’s interest with her somewhat bold statements.

“I have smoked with my older two,” she said in a video interview with Yahoo for a series called "Weed and the American Family."

“It was funny at first, and then they realized, it’s a very natural, end-of-the-day [thing]. And it brings you closer. I’d much rather have a smoke with my grown kids than a drink—oh God no.”

The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter has been a strong advocate for medicinal cannabis since it helped her get through chemotherapy for breast cancer in 2004. “The legalization of cannabis is a human right. It is a civil right. This is medicine,” she told High Times magazine last year.

She compared cannabis legalization to other civil rights movements, like the fight for LGBTQ equality. “All the other equal-rights movements that I’ve been personally involved with, I see the same thing: It takes people coming out,” she told High Times. “It takes people saying, ‘I am a cannabis smoker. I’m a citizen. I’m a good person. I love my kids. I love my family. I have a job. I don’t fit any stereotype.’ It takes those people coming out as your neighbor, as your family, as the person at your work. When you start knowing those people, then the fear goes away, and that’s how we move forward and change hearts and minds.”

As a parent of four kids, Etheridge chooses to be open about what cannabis means to her. “My children have a very clear understanding of cannabis,” she told Yahoo. “When I hold it without shame or confusion, then they can understand it as simple as if I was pointing to a bottle of Percocet and said, ‘That’s Mama’s medicine.’ You take the naughtiness out of it, and it’s not something that kids run to.”

Her approach is a departure from the old-school mindset of own parents, she said. They would drink, but thought “pot was the worst thing.” This thinking comes from “70, 80 years of constant misinformation,” said Etheridge. 

She’s intent on putting an end to the Reefer Madness-esque stigma that still lingers today. “I would hope that in the future, 10 years from now, that there would be households that felt this was a holistic choice. Or at the very least, not have a fear of what a plant medicine can do with your body,” she said. “Health is a civil right.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr