If every single one of the Beatles could get busted for weed, nobody’s immune. Folk rockstar Melissa Etheridge, who has been vocal about using cannabis to treat cancer, has now been arrested for possession of marijuana while crossing the Canadian border.
On August 17, Etheridge was en route to leave Canada when she was stopped by customs agents in North Dakota. Drug-sniffing dogs hopped on board the tour bus — Etheridge and her band had just performed at the River Cree Casino in Edmonton — and found a bottle of cannabis oil.
While the cannabis oil is legal in both Canada and California, where Etheridge lives, it’s still illegal in North Dakota. Hence, Etheridge was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana — even though she explained to border patrol that she uses the cannabis oil to treat the symptoms of breast cancer. She pled not guilty to the charges.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, Etheridge said her cannabis medicine “worked even better than they said it would.” She has also admitted to smoking weed with her eldest children, Bailey and Beckett, both of whom are over 18.
Etheridge’s arrest should serve as an example to others crossing into or out of the United States, or from state to state, with cannabis. While in the eyes of most, she is hardly considered a criminal, she’s still found herself on the wrong side of the law. Had she been coming from or into a more conservative country, things could have been worse.
Guitarist DJ Williams for instance was shuffled from prison to prison in the United Arab Emirates, all for a vape pen. Like Etheridge, he too lives in California, where he can relish in relatively lenient cannabis laws.