Melissa Etheridge, Todd Rundgren Arrested For Drug Possession

By Britni de la Cretaz 10/17/17

The two veteran rock stars were arrested in recent months for similar drug charges.

Melissa Etheridge

Two veteran rock stars were arrested for drug possession at the United States-Canada border, just a few weeks apart.

Melissa Etheridge was arrested August 17 for allegedly having marijuana oil after K9 dogs detected the substance. And on September 9, Todd Rundgren’s tour bus was stopped and allegedly found to have vapes and liquid THC on board, according to TMZ.

Etheridge, 56, is a Grammy-winning musician who released her first album in 1988. She was charged with possession of a controlled substance and pleaded not guilty. The “I’m The Only One” singer lives in California, where cannabis is legal. However, she was arrested in North Dakota, where it is not. The singer has never shied away from talking about her medical marijuana use.

Etheridge says she uses cannabis to manage pain from cancer. Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004.

In 2013, Etheridge penned an op-ed for CNN about how medical marijuana saved her during her chemotherapy and cancer treatment. “People use marijuana for different reasons, and I needed it to get me through tough times,” she wrote. “I used it every day during chemo: It gave me an appetite so I was able to eat and keep my strength up. It also helped with the depression, and it eased the gastrointestinal pain.”

She continued, “I have been a medicinal marijuana smoker for nine years now. I find relief from the gastrointestinal effects of the chemo even now. I find it helps with regulating my sleep. I also enjoy it before I watch Game of Thrones.”

The singer-songwriter smokes with her grown children, and she launched a line of cannabis-infused wines.

In 2015, she told ABC News that since beating cancer she is now “the healthiest I have ever been in my life.”

She said, "It excites me every day when I can wake up and feel energy and feel good and feel purpose. The changes I made were big and not easy. Sugar is a drug, incredibly addictive. That one change can make a huge difference in your life. Then there's yoga. Yoga's been the world ... [Also] food is not something that makes me feel better cause I eat it ... it's something that's going to give me energy and vitality and life. I look to living food to give that to me."

As for Rundgren, he is probably best known for his 1983 song “Bang The Drum All Day.” He has also been transparent about his recreational drug use: he’s said in the past that he smoked cannabis while recording the 1971 album Runt: The Ballad of Todd Rundgren, that he took Ritalin and peyote while recording 1972’s Something/Anything?, and did mescaline when he recorded A Wizard, A True Star in 1973.

In an 2013 interview with The Guardian, Rundgren said he’d smoked marijuana just the day before.

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix
britni headshot.png

Britni de la Cretaz is a freelance writer, baseball enthusiast, and recovered alcoholic living in Boston. Follow her on Twitter at @britnidlc.