For Melissa Etheridge and her family, a great way to wind down at the end of the day and squeeze in some bonding is not around the table with a family dinner or even sitting in the kitchen and having a drink — it’s by passing a joint around.
In Yahoo’s new video series, Weed & the American Family, Etheridge revealed that she smokes marijuana with her wife, Linda Wallem, and her two older children, including daughter Bailey, 20, and son Beckett, 18. She also has 10-year-old twins, Johnnie and Miller.
“I have smoked with my older two,” she said. “It was funny at first, and then they realized, it’s a very natural, end-of-the-day (thing) … And it brings you much closer. I’d much rather have a smoke with my grown kids than a drink — oh, God, no.”
But for Etheridge, who has her own line of cannabis products called Etheridge Farms, said it isn’t just about relaxation. The drug has also helped her marriage, and worked as a medicinal aid since her breast cancer diagnosis in 2004.
“Cannabis is the best marital aid,” she added. “When it’s date night … It takes down your inhibition; your sexual desires are enhanced. We take a bath every night and smoke and talk and wind down and sleep a very, very good night sleep — and sleep is extremely important.”
“It wasn’t about being high,” she said of replacing pharmaceutical drugs during chemotherapy for medical marijuana. “It was just being to a place where I could communicate with my children, to where I could get up, to where I could eat. It was great medicine.”
According to the musician, the key is removing the stigma attached to the drug, and making it clear that it’s okay to partake in an accepting environment.
“My children have a very clear understanding of cannabis,” she said. “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.”
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