What's Melissa Etheridge been up to lately? Just smoking a doobie with her kids. NBD, guys. In an interview with Yahoo! News, the 55-year-old singer said cannabis has been hugely instrumental in helping her cope with side effects from cancer treatment. And she's found the drug has another perk as well: helping her bond with her two oldest kids (with ex Julie Cypher), 20-year-old Bailey, and Beckett, 18.
"It was funny at first, and then they realized it's very natural [at the] end of the day," said Etheridge. "It brings you much closer. I'd much rather have a smoke with my grown kids than a drink."
The singer/songwriter/cool mom told Yahoo that she has been smoking pot recreationally since she was 21, but it wasn't until her 2004 breast cancer diagnosis that she became aware of the medical benefits, thanks to her friend David Crosby.
"My friend David Crosby, he was the first one who said, ‘You know, Melissa, you have to do medicinal marijuana. You have to [try] cannabis. That’s the way to do it. It’s too hard otherwise,'" she recalls. So when doctors tried to prescribe a total of "five, six pharmaceuticals," she declined, choosing to go the "natural way" instead.
Etheridge, who is now cancer-free, says what she went through was a "wake-up call" about the benefits of marijuana. "When I used it as medicine, it became so clear to me that it has been maligned and misunderstood, and I really wanted to help people who are suffering," she said. "I mean, going through chemotherapy is suffering … and cannabis helps so many parts of just that."
Today, weed is still very much "a part of my life," she said, and even joked that it's "the best marital aid" for her marriage to Linda Wallem. "When the family's there, once everybody gets to sleep, it's our time," she said. "It's Mama time … We take a bath every night and smoke, talk, wind down and sleep a very, very good night's sleep."
Melissa Etheridge may not be topping charts like she did in the '90s. But if this story proves anything, it's that she's definitely still a rock star.