Musician Melissa Etheridge Supports Local Medical Marijuana Initiatives

October 21, 2012

Christine Huard, Patch.com

Singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge is voicing her support for three medical marijuana initiatives that will appear on local ballots Nov. 6 in San Diego County, according to Citizens for Patient Rights.

The group announced the celebrity’s endorsement of Proposition T in Lemon Grove, Proposition H in Del Mar, and Proposition W in Solana Beach in a press release Thursday.

The Grammy Award-winning musician was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and underwent surgery, chemotherapy, radiation treatment and drug therapy to beat the disease. Citizens for Patients Rights, the organization behind the local medical marijuana measures, said the endorsement was being announced in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

According to the statement, Etheridge smoked marijuana every day to relieve pain and other symptoms associated with chemotherapy treatment.

“Medical marijuana made a big difference, instantly, within a minute, relieved the nausea, relieved the pain. And all of the sudden, I was normal … I could get out of bed. I could go see my kid. And it was amazing,” Etheridge is quoted as saying.

The press release goes on to state the singer’s doctors told her medical marijuana was the best help for the effect of chemotherapy, and “the minute I didn’t feel it, I stopped.”

Etheridge has been a public advocate for medical marijuana since battling cancer. In a 2009 interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, she called for the drug's legalization and said she was still using medical marijuana to ease acid reflux.

The initiatives in Lemon Grove, Del Mar and Solana Beach that are backed by Citizens for Patient Rights each propose to allow storefront medical marijuana dispensaries to operate under certain regulations in those communities.

In Lemon Grove, the City Council constructed an alternative measure—Proposition Q—that gives the city more control over regulating the operations. And in Imperial Beach, a successful petition drive organized by the local chapter of Americans for Safe Access put a similar medical marijuana measure—Proposition S—on the ballot.



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